The price of being short-changed and ignored by Westminster

Whether it’s Brexit, City Deals, pensions or welfare, Tory governments at Westminster have a long record of short-changing Scotland.

In total, the figure amounts to £10.3 billion – or £2000 per person in Scotland.

This is the price of Westminster control: far from “levelling up” or a “Union dividend”, Scotland gets repeatedly subjected to cuts and damaging decisions.

£1.3 billion: promised but undelivered ‘levelling up’ funding

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove led a Brexit campaign that promised £1.5 billion a year for Scottish devolved services when the UK left the EU.

Instead, all that was announced for Scotland is £172 million. For every £1 the UK government promised, they’ve given Scotland 11p – meaning Scotland has been short-changed by 89%.

Instead, much of the ‘levelling up’ funding is going to bolster Tory seats in England.

£1.4 billion: mitigating UK government welfare cuts

The Scottish Government has to spend over £1.4 billion to mitigate some of the UK Tory government’s welfare benefit cuts, which are inflicting further suffering during a Tory cost of living crisis.

This includes £646 million for our Scottish Child Payment – the only measure in the UK designed to lift children out of poverty – which we now doubled to £20 a week.

We’re spending £418 million over six years for Discretionary Housing Payments, to mitigate the Tory bedroom tax.

And our £372 million Scottish Welfare Fund is helping shoulder some of the burden of Tory cuts on hard-pressed families.

£420 million: shortfall in city growth deals

Six city deals across Scotland remain short-changed by Westminster to the tune of £420 million – which equals to around £439 per household in these areas.

For all the talk of “levelling up”, the UK government is failing to match Scottish Government funding for city deals.

In Aberdeen City Region for example, the Scottish Government is providing £379m of funding – compared to just £125m from the UK government.

£1 billion: the UK government’s broken promise of a carbon capture facility

In 2014, the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government confirmed the North East as the site of a carbon capture facility, if Scotland voted ‘No’ in the referendum.

In 2015, the Tory manifesto repeated that promise and valued it at £1 billion – but after they won the election, they reneged on this promise.

Boris Johnson again promised a carbon capture facility, and in October 2021, strongly hinted it would be going to the north east of Scotland. It didn’t – with money diverted to England instead.

£125 million: Scottish police and fire services short-changed by the UK government

Scottish police and fire services are losing £125 million in VAT, which has still not been compensated despite being scrapped in 2017.

No other territorial force in the UK had to pay VAT.

Having conceded the principle that it’s unfair to charge VAT only to Scottish services, the UK government has refused to pay the money back, at a time when services were already struggling due to Tory austerity.

£103 million: our NHS short-changed by the UK government

Despite committing to fund the change in pension costs for NHS employers, the UK government has only provided £280 million out of the £328 million funding that was necessary – a shortfall of £48 million.

On top of that, the UK government short-changed our health service by £55 million in 2020, compared with its claimed level of Barnett consequentials.

£3 billion: Scotland’s “divorce bill” for a Brexit we never voted for

In 2014, the ‘No’ campaign infamously promised that voting ‘No’ was the only way to secure our EU membership.

In 2016, Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU – with all 32 out of 32 local authorities voting against Brexit.

Despite that, Scotland was completely ignored by the UK government and forced to pay a £3 billion “divorce bill” for a Brexit imposed on Scotland’s people against our will.

£290 million: short-changed by the UK government for the council tax rebate

Rishi Sunak had made a huge fanfare about how Westminster would be providing Scotland with extra cash to deal with the cost of living crisis.

However, Kate Forbes confirmed that £290 million of consequentials was not provided by the UK government – money that could have provided every household in Scotland with extra £115 of support.

£151 million: Scotland short-changed in EU replacement funding

The UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund fails to deliver promised funding for Scotland after Brexit, which we never voted for.

While as part of the EU, Scotland would be receiving around £183 million for 2022-23, the replacement money offered by the UK is only £32 million.

This means communities across the country will miss out on around £150 million of investment.

£2.6 billion: the cost of the Tory broken promise on pensions

By going back on their 2019 manifesto promise to maintain the Triple Lock pension guarantee, the Tories are short-changing Scotland’s pensioners by £2.6 billion.

This amounts to every pensioner losing out by £520 every year, for the next 5 years.

On May 5, vote SNP to build a fairer Scotland and send Tories a message

The Scottish council elections on May 5 are the opportunity to send the Tories a message, cast a verdict on their failures, and elect local champions who will always stand up for your community.

Click here to register to vote – make sure you do it by 18 April. You can also apply for a postal vote here.

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