4 OF 5 PARTIES ON SMITH COMMISSION BACK SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ON FISCAL FRAMEWORK

CROSS-PARTY UNITY AGAINST TORY PLANS TO SLASH BUDGET BY BACKDOOR

The SNP has welcomed backing for the Scottish Government’s position in the fiscal framework negotiations from representatives of four of the five parties on the Smith Commission – with only the Scottish Tories refusing to say whether they back either the Scottish Government plans to secure a fair deal for Scotland or the UK Government’s proposal to cut Scotland’s budget by the backdoor.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland last week, Iain Gray, Tavish Scott and Maggie Chapman confirmed their backing for the per-capita indexation mechanism favoured by the Scottish Government.

This comes as the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee – composed of four SNP members, 4 Conservatives and 3 Labour members unanimously backed the Scottish Government’s position.

Commenting, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said,

“There is a growing and wide cross-party consensus in Scotland in favour of the Scottish Government’s position in the fiscal framework negotiations and even Tory MPs in Westminster have now joined calls for the UK Government to implement this fair fiscal framework. Everyone is united against Tory plans to use the delivery of the new powers we were promised to cut our budget by the backdoor.

“This can’t be an argument about how much financial detriment or what size of cut to Scotland’s budget is acceptable, the Smith Agreement said no detriment and that’s exactly what the UK Government must agree to. West Dunbartonshire voted Yes to Independence and if our communities are going to have the Unionists’ policies forced upon us, they must at least deliver on their promises.

“From the STUC to Professor Anton Muscatelli, the experts are clear that the Scottish Government’s position is the right one for Scotland, and I’m very pleased to see backing from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and backbench UK Tories for a fair deal for Scotland; only the Scottish Tories are refusing to make it clear where they stand.

“The SNP in Government will never agree to a deal which would allow the UK Government to cut Scotland’s budget by the backdoor, and it’s very welcome to see cross-party support for that common-sense position.