Derek Mackay to tell Chancellor to ‘focus on the day job’

Written by Jenni Davidson on 9 October 2017 in News

The Finance Secretary will accuse the Tories of inflicting a budget “triple whammy” on Scotland

Derek Mackay - Image credit: PA Images

Derek Mackay will today call on the UK Chancellor to “focus on the day job” in his speech to the SNP conference in Glasgow.

The Finance Secretary is expected to accuse the Tories of inflicting a budget “triple whammy” on Scotland

Mackay will cite the Conservatives’ austerity agenda as being responsible for a 9.2 per cent real-terms cut to Scotland’s budget over the last decade.

He will also say that the Scottish Government is being forced to pay an ever increasing amount on mitigating policies such as the bedroom tax and cuts to council tax benefit.

Meanwhile, he will add, decisions such as forcing Police Scotland to pay VAT are “completely unjustifiably” withholding tens of millions of pounds from Scotland’s budget.

With the UK budget due in a few weeks’ time the Finance Secretary will call on the Chancellor to “do the right thing” for public sector pay and for public services.
 
Derek Mackay is expected to say: “Over ten years we have used the powers of the parliament to chart a different, more progressive course.

“But we are doing this in the face of unprecedented Tory austerity, being forced to pay ever-increasing amounts on mitigating cruel Tory policies, and in the face of completely unjustifiable Tory actions such as forcing Police Scotland to pay tens of millions of pounds in VAT.
 
“When the Tories’ neck is on the line, they have no hesitation in finding £1bn of taxpayers’ money for their grubby deal with the DUP – but they inflict a budget triple whammy on Scotland which is putting ever more pressure on our public services.
 
“The Tory cabinet is in absolute chaos, but the Chancellor must focus on his day job – he must ignore the austerity-obsessed right-wingers in his cabinet and do the right thing for public services by unlocking investment.”

Mackay will tell delegates that the SNP government will lift the public sector pay cap “come what may” but he will warn that the Scottish Government will only be able to go so far unless the Chancellor lifts the cap across the UK

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