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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Johnson demands Scottish Government Puts Up Income Tax for Pandemic

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Prime Minister challenged over crucial Covid funding for devolved governments.

The UK government is under mounting pressure over crucial Covid support for the devolved governments, following the Prime Minister’s refusal to deliver new funding and instead demand that the Scottish Government increases income tax to pay for tackling the pandemic.

At PMQs, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that the Scottish Government is already delivering £100 million from its fixed budget to support businesses but that “more is needed” at this critical time.

In response, Boris Johnson instead said that there are “further powers” under the devolution settlement for the Scottish Government “to raise money.”

It comes after the UK government announced that “additional” financial support was coming to deal with challenges posed by the Omicron variant.

However, the Treasury later U-turned saying that it would not be new money and would instead be an advance on Barnett consequentials.

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford MP, said:

“The Scottish Government is delivering £100 million from its fixed budget to support businesses.

“But we all know, more is needed to deal with the threat posed by the Omicron variant.

“Instead of delivering new funding to tackle the pandemic, the Prime Minister instead shamefully demanded that the Scottish Government increase income tax to pay for the pandemic – on the very same day that the cost of living crisis gripping households surged, with inflation rising to 5.1%.

“The UK government must get a grip and step up to the challenge facing us by meaningfully engaging with the devolved governments and setting out new financial support, so that we can effectively tackle the health crisis and protect businesses and workers.”

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