Spending review 'delivers boost to the whole UK' as devolved governments promised billions

Dan Sanderson
·2-min read
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, revealing his plans - UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, revealing his plans - UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA

Rishi Sunak claimed that his Spending Review would deliver for every corner of the United Kingdom, with billions in extra funding promised to devolved governments.

The Chancellor said that his announcements yesterday meant an additional £2.6 billion would be provided to administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to help them fight the pandemic.

Scottish Unionists have been frustrated that despite the UK Government’s furlough and self-employment support schemes supporting around 900,000 workers north of the border, the popularity of the SNP and independence has continued to surge.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Tories, said Wednesday's commitments meant it was “now a fact” that UK ministers had “gone further than any government in peacetime history to protect jobs and support public services.”

However, the SNP complained that spending promises did not go far enough, and said a public sector pay freeze exposed the government's "twisted priorities". Kate Forbes, the SNP finance secretary, also claimed Scotland's capital budget was being cut by five per cent in cash terms.

Mr Sunak also promised to accelerate four City and Growth Deals in Scotland, saying these would “create jobs and prosperity” in Tayside, the Borders, Moray and the islands.

The Chancellor said: “This Spending Review will help people in every corner of Scotland.

“It will provide billions of pounds to fight coronavirus, deliver the peoples’ priorities and drive the UK’s recovery.

“The Treasury is, has been, and will always be the Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom. And this is a Spending Review for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Mr Sunak said that Ms Sturgeon’s government would get £2.4 billion overall in extra cash, as a result of coronavirus spending and wider increases for public services, in addition to the £8.2bn in additional money guaranteed to the Scottish Government in 2020/21.

However, Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s Treasury spokeswoman, claimed Scotland had been “completely ignored by Westminster.”

She added: "The fact that the Tories are wasting millions on a Brexit festival while slashing public sector pay, and cutting support for the world's poorest, tells you everything you need to know about this government's twisted priorities.”