Kate Forbes has said the Scottish Government needs to be “canny” with its spending, as the country faces a “very difficult financial position” over the next few years.
But, the finance secretary insists that Scotland can get through the cost of living crisis.
It comes ahead of Forbes setting out the Government’s Spending Review on Tuesday.
The review, she said, will include some “difficult decisions”, to ensure focus is on supporting households and services.
Different from a budget, the review will give broad parameters for spending for the next four years and set out a series of government reforms.
Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this week set out measures to help people struggling.
They included a one-off payment of £650 to low-income households and a temporary windfall tax on profits made by oil and gas giants.
And pensioners will also receive a one-off £300 payment and a one-off disability cost-of-living payment of £150 will be made.
Forbes acknowledged that the country faces a “very difficult financial period” in the coming years, with funding increases below inflation levels.
However, she set out her belief that it will still be possible to achieve ambitions including on tackling child poverty and helping the economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“These are challenging times, and we need to be canny with our spending, but I’m confident that if we work together we can get through this cost of living crisis and still achieve our ambitions,” she said.
“That means tackling child poverty, driving our economic recovery from Covid and achieving net zero, while building a stronger public sector that is sustainable for the future.
“We face a very difficult financial position over the next few years with funding increases below inflation levels and the challenge of recovering from the pandemic without the financial tools available to every other government in the world.
“That means while the spending review is not a budget, it will include difficult decisions, to ensure we can really focus on supporting households and services at this time.
“The Resource Spending Review will detail the funding available over the coming years to achieve these goals, and it will be published alongside the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) which gives economic context to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.”
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