The Liberal Democrats has warned Yvette Cooper, the chief secretary to the
Treasury, she went too far when she criticised one of the
Scottish National Party government’s flagship
policies – its local income tax plans.
Ahead of a meeting with Cooper today, John Swinney, Scottish finance
secretary, said he would call for an end to the UK Treasury’s attempts to
‘bully’ the Scottish government, arguing that Scotland was being short-changed,
Cooper is expected to use the talks to reiterate the UK government’s claim
that SNP’s plans to scrap the council tax and replace it with a local income tax
could result in a £750m financial black hole in the Scottish government’s plans.
But Swinney is adamant £400m of council tax benefit should continue to come
to Scotland, even if the specific tax is abolished, because it is part of the
existing Scottish block grant. He will also argue a proportion of the additional
£1.2bn funding for prisons in England should be allocated to Scotland under
existing funding rules.
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