The UK Government’s Autumn Statement today fails to address the pressure on Scotland’s devolved budget to help people with the cost of living crisis.
Measures set out today include:
• A combination of tax rises and spending cuts worth £55 billion, meaning the UK is almost unique amongst wealthier countries in terms of reintroducing austerity.
• The SNP Government will see £200 million less funding than the amount previously wiped from Scotland’s budget because of the Tory Government’s recent catastrophic mini-Budget on 23 September and rocketing inflation.
• Although income tax is devolved, the income tax personal allowance, main national insurance thresholds and the inheritance tax thresholds will be frozen until April 2028, meaning more Scots paying a higher share of income in tax as a result of “fiscal drag” as wages increase.
The Chancellor should have made fairer choices like properly taxing non-doms and following the lead of the SNP Government by matching progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment - but instead has chosen to impose devastating cuts to family budgets and public services.
Deputy FM John Swinney has said that the SNP Government will now carefully consider the changes and set out its response in the December budget.
However, it is clear that this statement has failed to address the pressure on devolved budgets to help people with the cost of living crisis, support public services, and finance fair pay offers.