THE Chancellor's budget announcements leave the Scottish Government with "no hope" of helping those most in need when it comes to setting its own budget next month, John Swinney has said. 

The Scottish Government is due to announce the 2023-2024 Scottish Budget on December 15 against the backdrop of a bleak economic outlook. 

However, Swinney - who is currently Scotland's acting Finance Secretary - said that the UK Government's Autumn Statement failed to address the pressures on devolved governments. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK's spending watchdog, said that the UK had officially entered a recession and that there would be the biggest fall in living standards since records began. 

The recession is expected to last more than a year and force half a million people out of work. 

Swinney said the OBR's forecasts were an indictment on the UK Government's handling of the economy

READ MORE: 'Shameless': Scotland reacts to eye-watering tax hikes in UK budget

He said: "Today’s statement shows that households across Scotland are paying a steep price for the economic mismanagement of the UK Government, with average household disposable incomes forecast to fall by 7% in real terms according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

"This would erode just under 10 years of growth in living standards, taking them back to levels not seen since 2013-14, meaning they would not recover to pre-pandemic levels until after 2027-28 – a devastating indictment of the UK Government’s management of the economy." 

The OBR said that the "medium-term fiscal outlook" for the UK had "materially worsened" since their forecast in March. 

This was due, it said, to a "weaker economy, higher interest rates, and higher inflation." 

Swinney stated that all of these factors had forced the Scottish Government into making cuts. 

'Constant U-turns' 

He added: "Inflation is eating away at the Scottish budget, and due to the lack of additional funding in 2022-23 and the financial restrictions of devolution, we have had no choice but to make savings of more than £1 billion.

"The constant U-turns on tax by the UK Government have made planning for the Scottish Budget more challenging this year. 

"I am pleased the Chancellor has finally listened to our calls to tax more of the windfall gains in the energy sector, but he should have gone further to remove the poorly targeted investment allowance, which only serves to encourage short-term investment in fossil fuels rather than promoting long-term, sustainable energy solutions.

“This leaves me with the difficult task of setting Scotland’s Budget for 2023-24 with no hope of financial flexibility to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

The UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has also been accused of "deafening silence" on public sector pay, despite the threat of major industrial by hundreds of thousands of workers  in the coming weeks. 

READ MORE: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hikes taxes in Autumn Statement

The Scottish Government has committed hundreds of millions to settle pay disputes for public sector workers but has insisted it does not have the economic maneuverability to fund anymore improved pay deals.  

However, with nurses warning that UK-wide strikes could take place if negotiations don't occur within the next five days, Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said the UK Government is acting as if there is no public sector pay or workforce crisis.

“Nothing was said today to change the minds of NHS staff currently voting on strike action,” she said.

Health worker wages must be boosted now to prevent a damaging dispute this winter."