Response to UK Government Summer Statement
Responding the UK Chancellor’s Summer Statement today, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:
“We called for an £80bn stimulus package to build a strong, green and inclusive economic recovery and while there are elements in this announcement to be welcomed, in particular the measures on VAT for tourism and hospitality, overall this package is a huge opportunity missed. It falls well short of delivering what is needed to boost the economy and protect jobs.
“There is no new capital spend, no extension to the furlough scheme for hard-hit sectors and no further support for households in financial difficulty. A half price meal out does not help those struggling to put food on the table.
“Many of the initiatives are short-lived and do not provide long term certainty for business or households. Instead they will simply push the problems back to the end of the year when we will also have to deal with the end of the transition period with the EU.
“Despite announcing new funding measures worth up to £30bn today, most of it bypasses devolution and does not provide the Scottish Government with the funding we need to enable us to tailor an economic response that meets Scotland’s needs.
“Like all governments, we are facing huge spending pressures but we do not have the tools that others have to meet them. Along with the Governments of Wales and Northern Ireland, we set out a reasonable, proportionate set of new financial powers that would enable the Scottish Government to respond effectively. Regrettably, the UK Government has turned a deaf ear to those needs.”