Tory plans would slash spending in Scotland

Commenting on David Cameron's proposals to impose public spending cuts in 2010/11 announced at the Conservative morning press conference on Tuesday 18th November 2008, the Scottish National Party's Westminster Treasury Spokesperson Mr Stewart Hosie MP said:

"The Tories have been shown up in their true colours as slashers of public services.

"And every pound of spending cuts they imposed on health, education and housing south of the Border would have an impact on the Scottish Parliament's budget north of the Border. If the Tories had their way, the Barnett Formula wouldn't just squeeze Scottish spending - it would cut Scotland's budget.

"Scotland already more than pays its way in the UK, as proved by the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report - which shows that Scotland paid more then £800 million to the UK Treasury than it received in 2006-07, and in a substantially stronger budget position than the UK as a whole.

"David Cameron's cuts agenda shows exactly why Scotland needs to move towards full fiscal autonomy, so that the Scottish Parliament is responsible for Scotland's resources.

"It is essential that the Scottish Parliament gains control over Scotland’s finances, as well as borrowing powers to allow it to respond to economic circumstances, which it can’t do within a fixed budget. The need for such powers is glaringly obvious given the downturn - and now even more clear in light of the Tories' plans to slash spending on vital services.

"This development underlines the toothless nature of the suggestions emanating from the Calman Commission - which would leave Scotland exposed to damaging decisions taken by Westminster governments of whichever party.

"And it leaves the Scottish Tories completely exposed – with no say over the policy, but having to defend proposed spending cuts in Scotland because of the failures of UK economic policy."

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