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by Kirsteen Paterson
05 September 2022
John Swinney: Further UK Government cuts could 'cost lives'

Deputy First Minister John Swinney

John Swinney: Further UK Government cuts could 'cost lives'

Funding for the Scottish Government is to fall by 4.5 per cent in real terms, John Swinney says.

The Deputy First Minister says the drop anticipated for next year is as a result of UK Government spending plans and the Bank of England's inflation forecasts.

Nicola Sturgeon will set out the Scottish Government's 2022-23 Programme for Government tomorrow and has pledged to deliver an emergency budget within a fortnight of the new Prime Minister's fiscal plan.

The winner of the Conservative Party leadership race will be announced at 12.30 and the winner - either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak - will have to deal with inflation levels at a 40-year high.

Truss, who is expected to win the contest, has pledged to announced help for consumers within a week of taking office, with £30bn in tax cuts to follow through an emergency Budget before the month is out.

Following Sturgeon's Programme for Government announcement, Swinney will update the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday on how the administration aims to meet the costs of rising pressure on public sector pay.

An increased pay deal was put to striking council workers last week, leading to the suspension of further bin and school staff strikes. 

In a statement today, he said "further spending cuts to Scotland's budget from the UK Government would be disastrous and would cut lives" amidst the cost-of-living crisis. Swinney said: "If inflation rises significantly higher, the resources available to us will erode even further at the very time when costs are increasing. 

"With the new prime minister due to be appointed this week it is vital that the UK Government now acts decisively to tackle this ongoing crisis."

On Sunday, Sturgeon told Sky News: "Any move - and this is a real risk - that would cut our budget within this financial year would obviously be of profound concern because it would have big implications for the National Health Service, for local authority budgets, for every aspect of our spending."

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