Today George Osborne delivered his budget for the year ahead. Here’s what he’d rather you didn’t know.
The Tories are making a £1 billion cut to Scotland’s budget.
The Chancellor’s budget today confirmed that the cuts to Scotland’s budget will continue. Scotland will see over a billion pounds real-terms cut in the day-to-day budget that pays for public services.
And, they tried to hide the fact that even more cuts are to come.
Hidden deep in the Budget document, on page 90, is this sentence:
“This Budget sets out that the government will find a further £3.5 billion of savings from public spending in 2019-20”.
That’s a cut that will be delivered over-and-above the £1 billion cut being made to Scotland’s budget. And, because the cut has yet to be allocated to specific departments, Scotland is left completely in the dark on how much more our budget will be slashed by.
George Osborne has stripped support for disabled people.
Reforms announced today to Personal Independence Payments will mean that at least 40,000 people with ill-health or disabilities in Scotland will have vital support reduced or cut altogether. This is on top of the 105,000 Scots who will lose some, or all, of their disability benefits as a result of changes already introduced by the UK Government. Disability Charity Scope’s Chief Executive confirmed that the benefit changes announced today “will make many disabled people’s lives harder.”
Tory austerity is a choice, not a necessity.
The SNP has consistently shown that the UK deficit and debt can be brought down without massive cuts to our public services, yet the Chancellor remains wedded to austerity.
A modest increase in spending on public services of just 0.5 per cent a year in real terms between 2016-17 to 2019-20 would release over £150 billion to be invested in public services, while reducing public sector debt and borrowing over the course of the current UK Parliament.
The Chancellor hasn’t addressed the challenges facing the oil and gas sector.
The Chancellor, at long last, heeded SNP calls to reduce the headline rate of tax applied to the North Sea. This is a move that will improve long-term prospects for the industry. But, lacking from today’s budget was other key support to encourage exploration, and address short-term challenges that face the industry today.
You can read more about the SNP’s calls for a comprehensive package of support for the North Sea oil and gas industry here.