Speaking ahead of the meeting between the Scottish and UK Governments on the Fiscal Framework, Grahame Smith said:
“In the face of clear evidence from a wide range of academics that anything other than per capita indexation would be to the severe detriment of future public spending in Scotland, the STUC urges the UK Government to honour pledges made during the Independence Referendum that Scotland would enjoy the ‘best of both worlds’ if voting to remain in the Union and agreeing additional fiscal powers. It is entirely unacceptable that the block grant deduction should be calculated in a way that penalises Scotland for lower population growth when it is does not possess a number of the levers which could address this and while UK-wide industrial and economic policy centralises wealth in London and the South East.
“In the face of ongoing UK austerity, it is unthinkable that future, and necessary, tax increases in Scotland should be used to address an in-built disadvantage in the Fiscal Framework rather than providing much needed funding for public services.
“The STUC will be supporting a lobby of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday urging the Deputy First Minister to provide a fairer funding deal for Scotland’s councils. We could not in all conscience do so whilst advocating that the Scottish Government signs up to a deal which would inevitably lead to further cuts in the future. So we reiterate our view that it would be entirely wrong for the Scottish Government’s political opponents to categorise the hard bargaining position that it must adopt on this matter as a ‘dragging of feet’ on new powers.
“It is also of paramount importance that the Deputy First Minister drives a hard bargain for an appropriate share of the implementation and running costs in devolved policy areas such as welfare. We are deeply concerned that a bad deal would be to the detriment of our members and to the key services they provide.”
For further information please contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100