THE Treasury has a picked a fight with the devolved administrations, saying there won’t be an extra penny of Barnett consequentials for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland despite huge new spending in England.

Nicola Sturgeon called the cash snub “intolerable” and “unfair”.

Yesterday, in the Commons, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced extra help for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses forced to operate under England’s tier 2 restrictions.

The new cash grants were announced in an emergency statement with the Chancellor also forced into a major U-turn, making changes to the Job Support Scheme he launched just last month.

Firms in “high” coronavirus alert level areas will be able to apply for grants worth up to £2100 a month.

Areas which have already been under the restrictions will also be able to apply retrospectively.

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The Treasury estimates the tier 2 business grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England.

Normally, when the UK Government announces new spending south of the Border, they have to increase the block grants of the devolved administrations.

However, the Treasury says the Scottish Government should be able to make do with the £700 million of extra funding announced two weeks ago.

The First Minister hit out on Twitter. She said: “The Chancellor has told @scotgov that today’s announcements won’t deliver any upfront extra cash for Scotland beyond the (welcome) £700m announced recently – and he won’t confirm the range of extra spending (beyond business support) that it’s expected to pay for or for how long.

“Businesses in England have been given, rightly, an open-ended commitment to support for as long as needed. And @scotgov will be expected to match that for Scottish businesses – with no confirmation that the money will be there to pay for it (and no borrowing powers to raise it).

“It is an intolerable and unacceptable position – and deeply unfair to Scottish businesses who deserve the same open-ended commitment given to counterparts in England.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said Sunak had “written a blank cheque for business support grants in England, but is refusing to do the same for Scotland.”

She said it was wrong for Scotland not to have the “same level of certainty on financial support that is available to businesses in England.”

Forbes said the Government would set out today their support package for businesses required to close under Scotland’s new tiered system.

“As it stands we will have to do that without the clarity we need from the UK Government on the additional consequentials generated by [Sunak’s] announcement,” she said.

In the Commons, Sunak updated MPs on the Job Support Scheme which is set to replace furlough, due to end next week. Initially, the programme wanted to put much of the pressure on the employer.

An employee would need to work at least a third of their normal hours, with the Treasury then paying a third of their wages, and their employer another third.

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But with warnings of mass redundancies to come as the UK battles rising cases of coronavirus, the Chancellor has cut the number of hours an employee would need to work and said the Government would now contribute more to their pay packet.

Under the new rules, employers will now need to contribute 5%, while employees will need to work 20% of their normal hours. The state will pay up to almost 62%, up to a maximum of £1541.75 a month.

Sunak said that meant if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the Government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.

The Chancellor also increased the amount of profits covered for the new self-employed grant schemes, from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1875 to £3750. Sunak said: “I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the Government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross welcomed the support.

He said: “Throughout this pandemic, whenever jobs are on the line and businesses are struggling, Rishi Sunak has delivered.”