• Kenneth Gibson MSP

Mitigating Tory Policies costs SNP Government £594 million Annually


In answer to a parliamentary question from Kenneth Gibson MSP, a breakdown on spending provided by Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes MSP shows the SNP Government is spending £594 million per year to mitigate a number of UK Government policies. It includes:


  • £83 million on discretionary housing payments in order to mitigate the bedroom tax, introduced in 2013.

  • £102 million on improving digital connectivity infrastructure in Scotland, with telecoms - a reserved power.

  • £198 million on energy efficiency and industries, renewable and community energy and the low carbon economy, a sum of is allocated due to energy also being reserved to Westminster.

  • £63 million on equalities and human rights, £56 million on Fair Start Scotland, employability and workforce skills, whilst £39 million is spent on enterprise zones.


Kenneth Gibson MSP said:


“To protect the people of Scotland, the SNP Government commits a substantial amount from its restricted budget to mitigate Tory policies inflicted on our country.

“Devolution was meant to provide Scotland with the opportunity to do things differently but, without sufficient powers to borrow, the SNP Government is severely constrained.


“That opportunity is even further restricted if it is continually having to commit eye-watering amounts simply to right the wrongs of the Tories’ austerity agenda at Westminster.

“Scotland’s opposition parties constantly demand that Scottish Ministers spend its limited budget on opposition priorities without ever identifying where the money is coming from.

“If the Tories at Westminster properly funded the areas in which we must spend to mitigate and protect people, jobs and businesses, this cash could be redirected to make transformational changes in other areas of Scottish life.


“It’s why the people of Scotland must have the opportunity to choose a different path with an independence referendum once the crisis has passed.”


ENDS