News

UK Budget must match Scotland’s ambition

Published: 28 Feb 2021 00:01

Finance Secretary writes to Chancellor.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak ahead of the delayed UK Budget, calling on him to provide essential support as Scotland prepares to ease lockdown measures.

In the letter, Ms Forbes urges the UK Government to avoid a sudden cliff-edge withdrawal of support by extending the Job Retention Scheme beyond the end of April and making the £20 uplift for Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits permanent.

She also calls for a commitment that the NHS will receive what it needs in terms of financial support and for confirmation of Scotland’s share of unallocated coronavirus (COVID-19) funding to allow the Scottish Government to effectively develop its ongoing response to the pandemic.

Ms Forbes said:

“The Scottish Government has extended Non Domestic Rates relief as one measure to continue supporting business, and it is vital that we have the appropriate funding and fiscal levers to deliver economic support.

“There are a number of additional measures the UK Government should take in the UK Budget to support recovery, bolster the economy and support the most vulnerable.

“This includes ensuring the NHS receives what it needs in terms of financial support, extending the furlough scheme beyond April and supporting business and households by providing meaningful and effective long-term support as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt.”