Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has said that too much of Scotland’s budget is being spent on reducing the impact of harmful UK Government policies.
During the debate prior to passing this year’s Scottish Budget, Ms Roddick praised the SNP Government’s continued prioritisation of tackling poverty, climate change, and social inequalities, but said Scotland could go much further outwith the constraints of devolution.
“Most folk don’t realise just how much of Scotland’s limited budget is being spent on protecting people from UK Government welfare cuts.
“This year alone, we’re expected to spend £770 million on mitigating UK policies like the bedroom tax. It is simply unsustainable. We need the powers here to tackle the problem at the source.
“Despite this SNP Government’s near impossible job of navigating UK welfare cuts, ever-changing promises of the size of our budget and the inability to overspend, borrow, or react to events in a fiscal year, it has remained unashamedly committed to protecting Scotland’s most vulnerable.
“The budget passed yesterday is the budget of a country that wants to be fairer, greener, and stronger, but we are being held back. I hope that, very soon, we won’t have to just imagine what we could do if we had power over energy policy, immigration, income-based benefits and the economy, too.“