OSBORNE: I'LL CUT SCOTLAND DOWN TO SCYTHE; SAVAGE CAMERON'S AXEMAN HAMMERS SCOTLAND WITH PS177m OF CUTS UK Spending Will Be Slashed by PS3bn

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

OSBORNE: I'LL CUT SCOTLAND DOWN TO SCYTHE; SAVAGE CAMERON'S AXEMAN HAMMERS SCOTLAND WITH PS177m OF CUTS UK Spending Will Be Slashed by PS3bn


Minister of having an "ideological obsession with austerity".

He said: "The people of Scotland made perfectly clear in the recent UK election that they rejected the Tories' plans for harsher cuts, yet the UK Government is planning to inflict PS170million of even deeper austerity on Scotland this year.

"Scotland has already seen our overall budget cut by nine per cent since 2010. Further cuts risk more damage to public services and will hold back economic growth."

He's heading for a showdown with Osborne in London on Monday and claimed the Scottish Government weren't given notice of the plan.

The PS177million is a massive reduction in their spending power and will force Swinney and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to make savings.

But UK-wide savings will also hit Scotland, including a PS105million cut in the budget of the Department of Work and Pensions and PS500million from defence.

Osborne outlined the first round of the new Tory government's swingeing cuts, with a PS3billion coming from Whitehall and PS1.5billion from selling off their stake in Royal Mail.

He made the Commons announcement ahead of his emergency budget next month which the TUC warn will contain further austerity cuts.

Osborne said it was vital to tackle UK debt "as quickly as possible".

His attack effectively rips up the Scottish Government spending plans on budgets already set.

The Treasury insisted block grant cuts would be delayed for a year to allow re-adjustments in Holyrood.

Swinney added: "The Scottish Parliament has already agreed our budget for this year and that should be respected, not slashed as part of the Tory's ideological obsession with austerity.

"The First Minister made it clear to the Prime Minister when they met in Edinburgh recently that the general election result means it cannot - and must not - be 'business as usual' as far as Scotland is concerned.

"The Chancellor's actions today would appear to show that message has not been heeded."

Ian Murray MP, Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary, described the announcement as "shameful".

He said: "The Tories' true colours are exposed, cutting billions from public spending no matter the human cost.

"What we need to know is the exact impact these cuts will have on public spending in Scotland.

"Our schools and hospitals cannot be allowed to suffer because of the ideological obsession of the Tories to slash spending.

"Labour will oppose any attempt to sell off the remaining public share in Royal Mail."

A UK Government spokesman said the decision to protect spending on the NHS and schools also protects the Scottish Government's overall budget.

Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie demanded the Chancellor reveal the detail of his plans.

He said: "George Osborne needs to spell out urgently who is paying the price in this chaotic process.

"This is a shambolic approach to planning public services, ripping up his own 'long-term plan' set out just weeks ago in the March Budget.

"Savings need to be made through proper reform not short-term salami slicing."

The independent Institute of Fiscal Studies warned the Tories' overall PS12billion cuts package would "certainly will not feel like is just one per cent being taken out of each area of spending".

Their deputy director Carl Emmerson claimed the plans would be "anything but easy" and "will actually require deep cuts to some areas of government".

He said a total cut of PS23.8billion would be required across all departments between 2015 and 2019 in order for the Government to meet their spending plans. …

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