TORY Chancellor Rishi Sunak has criticised the Scottish Government for “imposing austerity”.

The Conservative minister made the claim as he rejected calls to provide extra funding to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.

Sunak insisted the difference between his own party and the SNP is that the Conservatives choose to support public services.

In the House of Commons, SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss said: “This year the Scottish Government have faced over a 5% real-terms cut in resource funding compared to last year’s budget, and the spending review took place when inflation was only at 3.1% – it has now tripled and continues to rise.

“This increase will impact on Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic and place severe pressures on public services and public sector wages. Will the Chancellor increase funding to devolved governments in recognition of this record inflation he presides over?”

Sunak, referencing the Scottish Government’s spending review, replied: “What’s clear is that in spite of the largest increase in public spending in the United Kingdom for some decades, record increases in public spending, the Scottish Government are now imposing austerity.

“Austerity in local government, in education, in justice, in environment, all budgets that are growing slower than inflation. Not happening elsewhere in the United Kingdom.”

He claimed that health budgets are growing faster in England than in Scotland, and suggested the differences were due to the Scottish Government increasing its welfare budget “by 50%”.

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Thewliss said the Chancellor knows that the Scottish Parliament “operate on a fixed budget, they do not have the levers that he has to increase budgets”.

She added: “We operate on that incredibly well. We have a balanced budget in Scotland every year which says a lot more than his.”

The SNP MP went on to ask if the UK would copy Ireland by cutting public transport fares to help relieve the strain on struggling families.

She said: “If the Chancellor is not going to provide more money to the Scottish Government, will he give us the full powers to do this?”

The Chancellor stated while his party “choose to support public services, in Scotland they [the SNP] are choosing to impose austerity on public services, that is the difference between us and the SNP”.

The Scottish Government's spending review, announced last month, outlined the ministers' spending plans for the next five years.

The plan suggested real-terms cuts in several areas of the public sector – including local government, higher education, the courts service, culture and external affairs.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes’ admitted “difficult decisions” would need to be taken but insisted the Scottish Government was “doing all that we can” to help with the cost-of-living crisis by prioritising issues such as child poverty and the climate crisis.

Responding to criticism from opposition MSPs earlier this month, she said only the UK Government has the “macro economic levers” to fully address the cost-of-living crisis.

The SNP minister said: “They have spectacularly failed to manage our economy in a way that works for businesses and works for households.”

Amid rising costs and rising energy prices, she insisted the Westminster government was doing an “absolutely appalling job running the economy”.

Forbes said the "piecemeal" package of support announced by Sunak in May "makes it highly likely that more support will be needed later when energy prices rise significantly in the autumn".

A study published this month by Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health found UK Government austerity policies have had a “devastating impact” on mortality rates.

Those living in the poorest areas are now expected to stop enjoying good health when they turn 46 in what has been described as a “truly terrifying” reversal of improvements in Scotland's health outcomes.

Researchers said the findings were further evidence that “unprecedented” cuts to social security were a key driver in declining life expectancy.