Scotland should “pay for itself”, says senior Tory

Tory MP, Priti Patel, told a right wing think-tank that Scotland
should "pay for itself"

Scottish news: Scotland should “pay for itself”, says senior Tory

by Joseph Blythe

A prominent Conservative politician has sparked controversy with a speech calling for brutal cuts to Scotland’s budget. MP Priti Patel said that Scots were better off than those in other parts of the UK blasting the “funding imbalance” caused by the Barnett formula, which calculates the amount of money Holyrood receives from Westminster.

Ms Patel, who was on David Cameron’s Tory candidates A-list, said that Scotland should “pay for itself”, claiming the public sector costs the government billions of pounds.


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Her remarks bear a striking resemblance to those by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont’s who said Scotland was a “something for nothing” culture as she introduced Labour’s ‘Cuts Commission’.

In Ms Patel’s speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs, a Thatcherite think-tank, she said: “Scots are basically getting a better deal than the rest of the country…These are considerable sums of money which should be reduced as part of the deficit reduction plans.”

“Failure to reform the Barnett Formula has effectively meant that Scotland receives £1600 per person more than the English average which inevitably puts a greater strain on public finances.”

She went on to call for Scotland’s budget to be slashed, saying “When you think about the prevailing doctrine in all the parties in Scotland, everyone is talking about more devolution. So there is a good opportunity now for the UK Government to actually start having discussions to make sure that Scotland actually pays for itself.”

Her comments have already received a stern rebuke from the SNP. MSP Jamie Hepburn dismissed her remarks as “unbelievable clap-trap”, and called for Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to distance herself from the remarks.

“Once again the Tory mask has slipped, and we see the true attitude of the UK Government towards Scotland.

“Scotland more than pays its way in the UK – generating 9.6% of the UK tax revenue in return for just 9.3% of expenditure - but who can doubt that the Tories would cut Scotland's budget even further if the referendum result was No.

“These people are making all of the key decisions about how much money can be spent in Scotland – yet they have been overwhelmingly rejected by the Scottish electorate time and time again.

“Ruth Davidson herself is implicated in this row, as she has also called for a 'review' of Scotland's funding formula after 2014. That is clearly Tory-speak for 'cut', which makes a Yes vote in the referendum essential for the sake of the public services that we all value - such as free personal care and no tuition fees. Ruth Davidson must clarify whether she agree with Priti Patel - as her previous remarks suggest - or not.”

Ms Patel’s comments will be viewed as a blow to the Better Together campaign, tasked with convincing Scots to vote against independence.

Jimmy Reid Foundation

They also come just as the Jimmy Reid Foundation has published a report describing the defence of universal policies, such as free prescriptions and university education, as “probably the single greatest achievement of the Scottish Parliament”.

The Scottish government has said that a Yes vote in the independence referendum is the best way to safeguard these policies. A spokesman said "These achievements of devolution are all under threat of being rolled back if Scotland votes No - as the report says, the 'devolutionary contract appears to be reaching an end'.

“That is why a Yes vote in 2014 for an independent Scotland is vital, so that we can protect and build on the gains of the Scottish Parliament, and build a fair society and strong economy."



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Showing 5 reactions

commented 2013-07-11 19:50:54 +0100 · Flag
What she really wants is a supine Scotland, colonised by a Tory government, extracting Danegeld from our country. If we cost money then the answer is simple…..expedite our exit from the Union, swiftly and efficiently!
commented 2013-01-26 21:41:39 +0000 · Flag
If the Westminster government stopped its theft from The Scots we would not just pay for our selves but would be able to help many other countries by not wasting money on WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION .
commented 2013-01-25 18:38:27 +0000 · Flag
Re – the headline. That’s what we want to – In other words Independence. Then Priti Patel can concentrate on screwing the English people. The Scottish people are all too familiar with the ilks of her, far right ideology and know the damage it does to society. If you want that sort of corrupt Westminster government, then Vote No at the referendum, one of them is bound to get in.
commented 2012-12-04 21:26:05 +0000 · Flag
Well; I would agree that Scotland should pay for itself. Raise all its own income and decide what gets spent where and the only way to do that would be to become Independent. Of course this would create a funding gap for the rUK, but with time I suppose they could learn to manage their own affairs more effectively.
published this page in News 2012-12-04 15:59:04 +0000