SNP plans for full fiscal autonomy in the UK would result in either “massive” cuts to services or an estimated £2,400 tax hike per household, Labour has claimed.
The party’s finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the policy, advocated by Alex Salmond in a Courier interview, which would see Scotland collect all taxes and be responsible for all spending while paying Westminster defence and foreign affairs, would result in “austerity max”.
Professor Jim Gallagher, who joined Ms Baillie for a briefing ahead of the publication of Scotland’s annual accounts, the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, said the fiscal gap between Scottish and UK spending and income was approximately £8 billion a year and North Sea revenues could no longer be relied upon to fill the void.
Finance Secretary John Swinney responded: “As ever, Labour are quick to talk down Scotland and Scottish economic performance.
“The reality is that over the past five years, under Labour and Tory Governments, the UK has run up debts of £616 billion.”
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie warned full fiscal autonomy would pose a double whammy for Scotland’s jobs and growth.