Local MP David Mundell has today welcomed the Chancellor’s spending review and autumn statement setting out how the UK Government will deliver security, investment and opportunities for families and businesses locally.
The Spending Review delivers the UK Government’s commitment to keep the Barnett Formula, including an increase in capital funding for the Scottish Government of £1.9 billion through the block grant in addition to the Scottish Government’s ability to borrow up to £2.2 billion for capital investment.
Mr Mundell said – “This increased capital expenditure is a welcome boost for Scotland. The UK Government is delivering on its commitments, the Scottish Government now needs to deliver on projects that are shovel ready across the South of Scotland to improve roads and transport links and build new homes.”
The Chancellor also announced that he will provide £7 million through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund to support new air routes promoting domestic and international connectivity, including from Carlisle Airport. Mr Mundell said – “This is good news for people across Dumfries and Galloway. The new routes will stimulate jobs and growth locally, and is vital in attracting new enterprise to the region.”
The Scotland Bill will make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world. It will have extensive new powers over tax and welfare. Lord Smith has fully endorsed the Scotland Bill, stating that it meets the principles set out in the cross-party Smith Agreement. The fiscal framework remains critical to the transfer of these responsibilities and constructive discussions are ongoing between the UK and Scottish Governments to ensure that Scotland genuinely sees the benefits and bears the costs of any decisions taken by the Scottish Government.
Commenting Mr Mundell said: “This week demonstrates beyond any doubt how Scotland benefits from being part of a strong United Kingdom where we pool resources and share risks. When we spend billions of pounds to improve our defence and security, Scotland benefits from every penny that is spent. When billions more are invested in English hospitals then Scotland gets a fair share that can be spent on the NHS in Scotland.
“The UK Government is committed to growing our economy to create opportunities for all and to fund improvements in our security and our NHS.
“The Scottish Parliament is about to become one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. This will mean more tax and welfare decisions will be made at Holyrood. It also means that Scotland still holds on to the benefits of being part of a strong UK.”