John Stevenson: What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of the spring statement on the Scottish Government’s block grant.
Mel Stride: The spring statement builds on the autumn budget, which resulted in an extra £950 million for the Scottish budget, and also at the spring statement my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced a further £260 million commitment to the borderlands growth deal.
John Stevenson: Scotland clearly receives a very fair share of funding, but the Scottish Government have decided to increase taxes. Does the Minister agree that becoming the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom risks undermining Scotland, particularly through investment and in its wider economy?
Mel Stride: Substantial tax powers have been devolved to the Scottish Government, including those relating to the rates of income tax, but the UK Government are committed to bringing taxation down, first and foremost by increasing the personal allowance to £12,500 one year earlier than our manifesto commitment and reducing tax in total for over 32 million people throughout the UK.