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MITIGATING VINDICTIVE TORY POLICIES COSTS WEST LOTHIAN £20M THIS YEAR

MITIGATING VINDICTIVE TORY POLICIES COSTS WEST LOTHIAN £20M THIS YEAR

Published date : 21 February, 2022

ANGELA CONSTANCE MSP : FUNDS SPENT PROTECTING SCOTS FROM TORIES MEANS LESS MONEY AVAILABLE TO FIGHT COST OF LIVING CRISIS

 

The Scottish Government had to spend £20M in West Lothian to mitigate vindictive Tory UK Government policies in Scotland this financial year, meaning there is less money available to support hard-pressed Scots families through the deepening Tory cost of living crisis.

Across Scotland as a whole, the range of Scottish Government spending commitments to counter negligent Westminster policies is now an astronomical £594 million a year. And the figures do not include almost £3.5billion of social security benefits which, while devolved, are needed to support and supplement insufficient welfare benefits paid by the Tory UK Government.

 

The figures also do not include the £290m announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes last week to give hard-pressed households £150 each.

 

Commenting, Ms Constance said:

“To protect the people of West Lothian, the Scottish Government is having to commit an estimated £20M - a substantial amount from its restricted budget - to mitigate vindictive and immoral Tory policies inflicted on our community.

 

“If these Tory policies - which bring misery to the country’s most vulnerable - did not exist, then it would free up Scottish Government cash to spend the equivalent of an extra £109 for every man, woman and child in West Lothian to deal with the spiralling cost of living.

“Devolution was meant to provide Scotland with the opportunity to do things differently but, with Westminster holding the key economic levers like borrowing, the Scottish Government is severely constrained. That opportunity is even further restricted if it is continually having to commit eye-watering amounts simply to right the wrongs of the Tories’ underhand austerity agenda at Westminster which is targeted at ordinary people and families.

 

“It says something about their priorities that, while they cut funding to help ordinary people, they pursue a tax cut for banks that will benefit them by £4bn at the expense of public spending.

“Scotland’s opposition parties are constantly demanding the Scottish Government spends its limited budget on opposition priorities without ever identifying where the money is coming from. Well, this is many millions of pounds that could be diverted to these areas if it was not being used to protect Scots from the worst elements of Westminster control.

“And it’s not just the Tories to blame. Labour and the LibDems, through their support for Westminster control, perpetuate vindictive Tory governance on the people of Scotland. In 2014 those parties promised that Westminster would be better at tackling those problems for Scotland. The sad fact is that those promises of Westminster support were empty.

“Almost £600million is a vast amount. If the Tories at Westminster would only properly fund the areas in which the Scottish Government must spend to mitigate and protect people, jobs and businesses, this cash could be redirected to make transformational changes in other areas of Scottish life.

“Sadly, the direction of travel of this Westminster Government means things will only get worse. It is why the people of Scotland will have the opportunity to choose a different path with a post-pandemic independence referendum once the crisis has passed.”

NOTES

1. The Written Answer with details of the £594 billion is available here.

 

 

2. Per person and household:

 

 

Cost of Mitigation

Population

Cost per Person

Households

Cost per Household

Scotland

£594,000,000

5,466,000

£109

2,507,625

£236.88

 

 

3. Cost per local authority area:

    

Area name

Population

Cost of Mitigation per Area

Area name

Population

Cost of Mitigation per Area

Area name

Population

Cost of Mitigation per Area

Scotland

5,466,000

£594 million

East Lothian

107,900

£11.7 million

North Lanarkshire

341,140

£37.1 million

Aberdeen City

229,060

£24.9 million

East Renfrewshire

96,060

£10.4 million

Orkney Islands

22,400

£2.4 million

Aberdeenshire

260,780

£28.3 million

Falkirk

160,560

£17.4 million

Perth and Kinross

151,910

£16.5 million

Angus

115,820

£12.6 million

Fife

374,130

£40.7 million

Renfrewshire

179,390

£19.5 million

Argyll and Bute

85,430

£9.3 million

Glasgow City

635,640

£69.1 million

Scottish Borders

115,240

£12.5 million

City of Edinburgh

527,620

£57.3 million

Highland

235,430

£25.6 million

Shetland Islands

22,870

£2.5 million

Clackmannanshire

51,290

£5.6 million

Inverclyde

77,060

£8.4 million

South Ayrshire

112,140

£12.2 million

Dumfries & Galloway

148,290

£16.1 million

Midlothian

93,150

£10.1 million

South Lanarkshire

320,820

£34.9 million

Dundee City

148,820

£16.2 million

Moray

95,710

£10.4 million

Stirling

94,080

£10.2 million

East Ayrshire

121,600

£13.2 million

Na h-Eileanan Siar

26,500

£2.9 million

West Dunbartonshire

88,340

£9.6 million

East Dunbartonshire

108,750

£11.8 million

North Ayrshire

134,250

£14.6 million

West Lothian

183,820

£20 million

 

4. Promises made by the anti-independence campaign before the 2014 referendum that Westminster would be better suited to make decisions on the cost of living:

 

'No' Campaign, 10 July 2012: "As part of the UK, households pay up to £189 less on their energy bills..."

 

 

'No' Campaign, 2 May 2014: "...Lower shopping bills than if we left the United Kingdom..."

 

  • Daily Record, 7 February 2022"Food prices to soar by 5% ... worst is yet to come"

 

Westminster Government, 4 June 2014: "...every Scot will be £1,400 better off every year staying part of the UK..."

 

  • The Sun, 4 February 2022"Brits £2,417 poorer...worst crunch in 32 years"

  

Gordon Brown, 27 August 2014: "Our UK welfare state offers better protection for pensioners"

 

  • Express, 7 January 2022"Cost of living squeeze will hit over 65’s hardest"

  

 

5. At a press conference on 3 February 2022 Rishi Sunak said:
 

LBC on Twitter: Chancellor Rishi Sunak: 'People understand we have to live within our means. I think they get that. They expect that from us, and that's what I will deliver as long as I'm doing this.'
 

Yet the evening before that press conference there was a Westminster vote to scrap the £4bn tax cut for banks which the Tories voted down. It had previously been announced in October:
 

 

 

 

  

  

 

 


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