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Ukip pledges to slash public spending in Scotland

Ukip is promising to slash billions of pounds of public spending in Scotland as it says the country must take the “rough with the smooth” as part of devolution-max proposals.

Speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs fringe event at the party’s annual conference In Doncaster today, Ukip economics spokesman and MEP Patrick O’Flynn said Ukip would equalise spending between the nations.

Last week Scotland voted against independence but all three Westminster parties are committed to much greater devolution of powers on tax, spending and welfare.

All parties are also committed to continue the so-called Barnett formula which allocates public funds to the four nations of the UK.

In Scotland public spending per head is more than £10,000, almost 20 per cent higher than the English level of £8,500.

In Wales public spending is also a similar level to Scotland at £9,700, nearly 14 per cent higher than England.

Any changes could impact on unique Scottish spending decisions such as the stamp duty regime, free prescriptions or free university tuition fees for Scottish citizens.

O’Flynn said Ukip would end the Barnett formula and bring all spending to £8,500 in order to reduce the deficit.

He said: “If we had a surplus then maybe we could raise public spending to the level of Scotland but that is very far from the position we are in.

“Equalisation is mainly in that downward level so that means reducing public spending that goes on Scotland. It seems to me that you can’t have an entirely unionist mindset in a devo-max world. If Scotland is taking a stride to independence and autonomy in so many different areas then the idea that English taxpayers are disadvantaged doesn’t wash anymore.

“People, or Scottish nationalists, say that Scotland contributes more tax to the total from oil or whatever. Well, would the Scottish banking sector have survived without the strength of the union a few years ago?

“Enormous sums were put up by English taxpayers so they have to take the rough with the smooth. We are talking about a significant public spending reduction in Scotland.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I can feel the England / Scotland who gets what / who votes on what – in/out of the EU etc etc issues all becoming one horrible quagmire over the next few years……..

  2. This sort of statement is sensationalism at its worst. Obviously UKIP wish to upset the hierarchy as they push forward as an alternative vote but is anyone down south really taking these guys seriously? It is such a simplistic argument that even as MEP O’Flynn makes his point he is surely only alienating himself from informed voters. No wonder UKIP wants to abandon Europe with this sort of numpty representing UK interests. Most sensible folk would wish to get as far away from this type of provocative headline grabbing stupidity too, which is why there is a swell of interested UK nationalists in Scotland. Also, he suggests abandoning IHT as the rich dont’ pay and the rest of us are just jealous of their wealth? Farage got chased from Glasgow for talking nonsense, who is going to chase this fool?

  3. If the cost of living in England is higher than in Wales and Scotland then you get less benefit for the same £ so One could argue England should be spending MORE per head and not less. I am not arguing that, just highlighting the inequality of inequality.

  4. Philip – for Scotland it’s the geographical spread and providing services to far flung communities. It can be argued that living in remote places is their choice and they take the “rough with the smooth” but reduced funding could only lead to mass urbanisation and the desertion of rural communities. I guess the life expectancy in the East end of Glasgow could go from being a European embarrassment to a global embarrassment too.

    As usual, this is just a cheap shot, as standard for these lunatics. No mention from them that Northern Ireland has the highest spend per head – says something about their support base?

  5. Scotland is subsidised in many ways by the larger population down south whether through taxation, distribtuion of assets by industry and agriculture but that is the price of running a United Kingdom where everyone shares in the resources. You can take a similar view across Europe with the EU funding poorer nations to bring them up to western European standards, spreading peace and prosperity across the continent. They are imperfect systems but I would rather embrace harmony than the policits of the lunatic asylum.

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