DESPITE attempting to position his Budget as one for the Union, Rishi Sunak has been told the plans have “short-changed Scotland”.

Amidst his announcements cheaper sparkling wine, draught beer, the cancellation of a planned rise in fuel duty, and changes to the rules on benefits to let claimants to keep more of what money they have, the Chancellor said he'd be increasing funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“This is a Budget for the whole United Kingdom through the Barnett formula,” he told the Commons.

“Today's decisions increase Scottish Government funding in each year by an average of £4.6 billion, Welsh Government funding by £2.5bn and £1.6bn for the Northern Ireland executive.

“This delivers this delivers in real terms, the largest block grants for the devolved administration since the devolution settlement of 1998.

“The whole of the United Kingdom will benefit from the UK shared prosperity fund and over time we will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK wide funding will match EU receipts averaging around £1.5 million a year.

“And we will fund projects across the UK including funding for the extreme E race in Scotland, the 22 Hebrides X-Prix, accelerating funding for the Cardiff City Region deal in Wales and funding in Northern Ireland for community cohesion.

“And whilst today demonstrates the indisputable fiscal benefit of being part of the United Kingdom, this is and always will be secondary to the simple truth that we are bound together by more than transactional benefit.”

To applause from his own back benchers, he added: “It is our collective history, our culture and our security. We are and always will be one family, one United Kingdom.”

Sunak said total departmental spending would rise by £150bn by 2024-25, which he said was the biggest increase this century.

He did not admit that the changes to Universal Credit rules had been forced upon him by the backlash over his ending of the £20 uplift brought in because of the pandemic, instead saying he wanted act to allow society’s lowest paid keep more of their “hard earned money”.

Sunak said: “For many of the lowest paid in society, there is a hidden tax on work, the Universal Credit taper withdrawal support as people work more hours.

“The rate is currently 63% So for every £1 someone earns their Universal Credit is reduced by 63p.”

He admitted it was a tax on work at a rate many organisations – including the Trade Union Congress, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Resolution Foundation, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Centre for Social Justice – felt was too high.

Then, in a flourish worthy of a market trader, he added: “So to make sure work pays and help some of the lowest income families in our country keep more of their hard earned money, I have decided to cut this rate not by 1% not by 2% but by 8%.

“This is a tax on working people and we are cutting it from 63% to 55%.”

However, the SNP were not so positive about the announcements, accusing Sunak of "smoke and mirrors".

"The UK Budget has short-changed Scotland, and left millions of families hundreds of pounds worse off next year due to Tory cuts, tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit," Ian Blackford said.

"The Tory government has short-changed Scotland by billions of pounds. It has broken its pledge to invest in Scottish carbon capture projects, failed to match the Scottish Government's £500million just transition fund, failed to fully replace EU funding for Scottish local authorities, and failed to compensate Scotland for the damage of Brexit.

"It beggars belief that the Tories expect us to be grateful even though they are making families poorer and robbing Scotland of investment."