In a letter to Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration Committee which Kenneth Gibson MSP convenes, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP has confirmed the UK Tory Government has backtracked on £290 million in announced Barnett consequentials to Scotland.
On 03 February, the same day as publication of the Spring Budget Revision, the UK Government announced a package of Cost of Living measures with funding of £290 million for Scotland.
On 10 February, Ms Forbes set out the SNP Government’s Cost of Living measures which fully utilise the £290 million of consequentials allocated as a result of UK equivalent announcements.
This shortfall means that council tax rebates to tackle the cost of living will have to be found from elsewhere in the Scottish budget. In North Ayrshire this is equivalent to £110.57 for every household.
Committee Convener Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“This has exposed the great Tory council tax swindle. It is extremely disturbing that they would people in Scotland by claiming they would be providing extra cash to deal with the cost of living crisis.
"They promised Scotland £290 million which was incorporated in our Scottish Budget, then simply pulled the rug without batting an eyelid.
"Yet again, the SNP Government is dependent on what the UK Tory Government decides to allocate. Now our Finance Secretary has to find funds from her limited budget to help out hard-pressed families by cutting £150 off their council tax bills.
“This once again demonstrates why Scotland needs to the full powers that independence would bring, so we no longer have to work with the UK Government’s false prognoses.”
The letter from Ms Forbes to the Finance Committee can be accessed here.