Yesterday’s budget was a good budget for Scotland, with results on whisky, oil and fishing- as well as an immediate £1 billion bonus.
The Scottish Government’s budget is up in real terms in 2019/20 compared to 2018/19. And the block grant will higher in 2019/20 than it was at the end of the last parliament, in 2016/17.
This was confirmed by the independent Fraser of Allander Institute and indeed Derek Mackay himself in an interview yesterday.
One pleasing aspect of yesterday’s budget for my region was the announcement of £150 million funding for the Tay Cities Deal.
The Chancellor also announced a series of measures to support high-streets in England which will result in almost £43 million of extra Barnett consequentials for Mr Mackay’s budget.
The ball is now very much in Mr Mackay’s court. Will he act to pass on this windfall directly to our struggling high-streets?
With tax cuts being delivered south of the border, the case for yet more SNP tax rises next year in Scotland is unsustainable.
The Chancellor has said that austerity is coming to an end.
We now need to see an end to the SNP's high-tax agenda, replacing it with a plan to support jobs and grow the economy.
We said we would speak to the SNP about getting its own budget through if it slashed air passenger duty, supported the high street, and ruled out another independence referendum.
The Chancellor has called Derek Mackay's bluff, and now he has nowhere to hide.
He has a huge up-front payment of the money to transform our health service and funds to support our high streets. There can be no more excuses.”