What does the budget mean for Scotland?

Amidst promises that "austerity is over" by Theresa May, a look through the figures show that the Tories have still failed to restore public spending cut since the coalition took over in 2010.

Although the Tories have promised £950m in additional funding over the next three years, in real terms the Scottish budget will be £1.9bn smaller than in 2010.

Indeed, the Chancellor has been accused of shortchanged the Tay Cities Deal, a proposal to create 15,000 jobs in Dundee, Perthshire, Angus and North East Fife by £50m, with only £150m being provided by the central government.

Meanwhile, although the National Living Wage will rise by 4.9 percent in April 2019, from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour, still far lower than Labour's pledge of £10 an hour for all workers.

Although Universal Credit will receive back less than half the amount cut by then Chancellor George Osborne in 2015.

Most drastically however, is the cut to the replacement for the European Investment Bank, which had spent £2.143bn in the UK in 2017. The Chancellor's plans see it slashed to less than ten percent, at a paltry £200m.

Despite all of this, the budget has been criticised by the Office of Budget Responsibility, who pointed out that Philip Hammond has nuked his own manifesto commitment to balance the budget, even after slashing the capital spending budget by £7bn in 2020/21.

Unsurprisingly Scottish politicians have reacted with fury to the announcements, with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard accusing the government seeking to "disguise" a continue to austerity economics.

“The Chancellor shifted the budget from a Wednesday slot to avoid Halloween headlines, but as much as Philip Hammond wants to dress up this Tory budget as an end to austerity, people across the UK will see through that disguise." he said.

“Theresa May promised the people that austerity would end, but this budget has delivered nothing of the sort.

“While big business in the UK pay the lowest rates of corporation tax in the G7, low paid workers are struggling by on poverty pay, with a social security system that imposes a two child cap on tax credits.

Shadow Scotland Secretary Lesley Laird added:“The Treasury claim this budget will deliver £950 million more for Scotland over the next 3 years. That’s a drop in the ocean in the context of Holyrood’s £33 billion budget in the last year alone. Don’t believe Tory spin. Austerity is not over."

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