Rishi Sunak pledges Budget is for ‘whole of United Kingdom’

Speaking in the Commons, the Chancellor said the Scottish Government will receive extra £4.6bn a year.

Rishi Sunak pledges Budget is for ‘whole of United Kingdom’ Getty Images

Rishi Sunak pledged his Budget is for “the whole of the United Kingdom” as he set out the UK Government’s spending plans.

The Chancellor, speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, insisted the UK will always be “one family”, as he announced the “largest block grants for the devolved administrations since the devolution settlements of 1998”.

He said as part of the UK Government’s £1.7bn Levelling up Fund, £170m will go towards projects in Scotland.

Sunak said that the decisions being taken as part of the Budget would result in an increase of funding to the Scottish Government by an average of £4.6bn each year.

“This is a Budget for the whole United Kingdom,” he told MPs.

“Through the Barnett formula, today’s decisions increase Scottish Government funding in each year by an average of £4.6bn.

“Welsh Government funding by £2.5bn and £1.6bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.

“This delivers in real-terms the largest block grants for the devolved administrations since the devolution settlements of 1998.”

Sunak cited projects including the Extreme E race and the 22 Hebrides X Prix as recipients of funding.

He said: “The whole of the United Kingdom will benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and over time, we will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK-wide funding will match EU receipts averaging around £1.5bn a year.

“And we will fund projects across the UK, including funding for the Extreme E race in Scotland, the 22 Hebrides X Prix, accelerating funding for the Cardiff City region deal in Wales, and funding in Northern Ireland for community cohesion.”

The Chancellor argued the case for the union, adding: “Whilst today demonstrates the indisputable fiscal benefit of being part of the United Kingdom, this is, and always will be secondary, to the simple truth that we are bound together by more than transactional benefit.

“It is our collective history, our culture and our security.

“We are and always will be one family, one United Kingdom.”

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross welcomed the Budget set out by the Chancellor.

“This UK Budget is outstanding news for jobs and public services in Scotland,” said Ross.

“The strength and security of the United Kingdom has helped us through the pandemic, and the announcement of the biggest block grant since devolution will ensure Scottish public services are protected going forward.”

He added: “Rishi Sunak’s Budget will build a stronger economy for communities across Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.”

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said that the Budget had “short-changed” Scotland.

“It’s increasingly clear that there will be no fair recovery under Westminster control.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country,” he said.

“No amount of smoke and mirrors can disguise the fact that the UK Budget has short-changed Scotland, and left millions of families hundreds of pounds worse off next year due to Tory cuts, tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit.”

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