Mackay’s Brexit blame game exposed


31 May 2019

The SNP’s tactic of blaming Brexit for the billion pound black hole in Scotland’s finances has been exposed by the Fraser of Allander Institute’s Stuart McIntyre.

The Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay explicitly blamed Brexit for the poor Scottish economic performance which has led to a reduction in Scotland’s income.

Stuart McIntyre of the Fraser of Allander Institute later corrected this in a twitter post; “The problem with this response is that both Brexit and austerity are UK wide factors affecting economic growth, and the reconciliations today arise because income tax receipts per head in Scotland are growing more slowly than elsewhere in the UK…”

The Scottish Fiscal Commission has revised Scotland’s growth rate downwards to 0.8 percent in 2019, 0.9 percent in 2020 and 1.1 percent in 2021.

As a result Scotland’s income tax receipts are lower than anticipated, creating the £1bn gap in Scotland’s income.

This is substantially lower than the rest of the UK and, therefore is the fault of the SNP’s inability to grow the Scottish economy, not Brexit.

Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary said;

“Derek Mackay is trying to play Brexit blame game.

“It won’t wash – if it was all down to Brexit, tax receipts in the rest of the UK would be equally affected, but they’re not.

“The blame for the £1bn black hole facing Scotland lies at the door of SNP HQ.

“This is down to Nicola Sturgeon and Derek Mackay and their total failure to grow the Scottish economy.

“They need to act urgently and send out a clear signal – no more tax rises, a clear plan to deliver sustainable growth, and an end to gimmicks and government waste.”

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