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Scottish Government forced to publish budget ahead of UK

Cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution Derek MacKkay outside the Michelin Factory in Dundee.
Cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution Derek MacKkay outside the Michelin Factory in Dundee.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has announced the Scottish Government will set its budget on February 6.

The UK Government is not set to unveil its spending and cost cutting plans until March 11, which Mr Mackay said was “unacceptable” for local authorities, adding it would have been “impossible” to set Scotland’s own in time.

He said: “The UK Government’s approach to the Scottish Budget has been completely unacceptable and has shown a disregard for devolution and a lack of fiscal responsibility.

“The timing of the UK budget made it impossible for us to publish our own budget after the UK Government’s without drastically restricting the time for parliamentary scrutiny.

“In these exceptional circumstances, created by the UK Government, it is vital we give local authorities and public services clarity on their budgets. That is why we have made the decision to publish our budget in February which will allow local authorities to set their budgets and council tax before the legal deadline of March 11.

“I look forward to publishing a budget that will help tackle the global climate emergency, reduce child poverty and boost the economy.

“We will work closely with the Scottish Parliament to agree a timetable for the Budget Bill to allow for maximum scrutiny while ensuring certainty for Scotland’s vital public services.”

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