THE Scottish Government has branded new Tory spending plans a “betrayal” of public services – amid grim predictions of spending cuts.

Finance Secretary Shona Robison accused the UK Government of providing “not a single penny more” for investment in Scotland.

And she raised concerns there was “no detail on where cuts will fall”.

Announcing the Spring Budget on Wednesday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt committed the Government to increasing day-to-day public spending by 1%.

But a leading expert has warned this will result in major cuts across the public sector, except in protected areas.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said because there were “bigger increases nailed in for health, defence, and childcare” other parts of the state would need to be trimmed.

He said his calculations said this would result in cuts worth £20bn per year until 2028 in the unprotected areas.

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Reacting to the Budget, Robison (below) said: “Public services up and down the UK are in real need of investment, and they’re being sacrificed to deliver unsustainable tax cuts.”

The National: Shona Robison

It comes after the Chancellor announced he was trimming National Insurance payments by 2%, to be funded in part by increased duties on vapes and tobacco – as well as a controversial extension of the North Sea oil and gas windfall tax.

Robison added: “Today’s UK Spring Budget is nothing short of a betrayal of public services across the UK. Our hope had been the Chancellor would have eased pressures on services – not least by providing more funding for capital.

“This would have helped support our NHS and the delivery of more affordable housing, but it would also have created jobs and economic growth, as well as helping secure a just transition to net zero.

“When more support is desperately needed for public services and infrastructure, for greater cost of living measures, and for money to aid our efforts to reduce carbon emissions – Scotland has been badly let down by the UK Government.”

She raised concerns about a lack of capital funding – which is spent on major state investments in things like building new infrastructure.

“Today’s statement provides not a single penny more for capital funding,” she added.

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“And the Barnett consequentials from health that were signalled by the Chancellor are actually less than the in-year health consequentials of 2023-24 and less than what is needed to address the pressures we face.

“I can guarantee that this Scottish Government will not be passing on this UK Government cut to our NHS.

“The National Insurance cut fails to offset the crippling effects of the cost of living crisis.

“There is also little detail of the spending cuts needed to pay for it. Even before today’s Spring Budget the Institute for Government described [the UK Government's] spending plans as a ‘fantasy’, with no detail on where cuts will fall.

“Today’s statement merely adds to that: according to the UK Government's own financial watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury may not even have the headroom available that today's commitments are based on.”