SNP planning bigger spending cuts than Labour – and a cut to Scotland’s block grant, says IFS

There’s some damning stuff for the SNP in the IFS reports on the various party manifestos. The faux-anti-austerity party are – the independent IFS believes – planning bigger spending cuts than Labour:

“The SNP’s recent rhetoric when announcing their fiscal plans states that they would be less austere and, in particular, cut spending by less than the main Westminster parties. For example their manifesto states that “We reject the current trajectory of spending, proposed by the UK government and the limited alternative proposed by the Labour Party”. There is a considerable disconnect between this rhetoric and their stated plans for total spending, which imply a bigger cut to spending by 2019–20 than Labour’s plans.”

Gotcha… But there’s more. The IFS say that the block grant to Scotland (“Barnett consequentials”) would be *cut* under SNP plans, but not under Labour plans:

“The SNP plans imply lower growth in total departmental spending between 2015–16 and 2019–20 than the plans of Labour and the Liberal Democrats. This, combined with the fact they have not pledged to protect education spending (which is ‘comparable English spending’), actually results, in this illustrative scenario, in a small cut in the block grant for Scotland under their plans.”

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So the SNPs plans would leave Scotland worse off and see bigger cuts across the board than Labour – and that’s before we get started on the £10 billion cuts that their fiscal autonomy plan would lead to…

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