By | June 30, 2019

The SNP has demanded the Tories immediately rule out widescale funding cuts for public services in Scotland – after Boris Johnson refused to dismiss the spectre of axing the Barnett Formula.
The Tory leadership candidate has previously described promises from Westminster to keep the Barnett Formula as “reckless” – falsely claiming that “the English taxpayer sends about £20 billion every year to Scotland as a kind of present”.
Today, Boris Johnson also declared that he plans to ensure any future Tory Prime Minister will also become the Minister for the Union – in a bid to ensure Scotland stays within the UK.
Commenting, SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:
“It is outrageous that the Tories are now plotting to use Brexit as an opportunity to railroad systematic cuts to Scotland’s budget – offering a grim insight into what Scotland can expect from the next Tory Prime Minister.
“The Tories have longed for the opportunity to hammer Scotland’s budget for years – but the people of Scotland won’t stand by while Westminster politicians plot to cut money from our vital public services to fund their disastrous no-deal Brexit.
“Yet again the mask has slipped and fatally undermined the Tories’ attempts to portray themselves as working in Scotland’s best interests.
“Boris Johnson’s latest scheme to appoint the next Tory leader as Minister of the Union is simply laughable – voters will see this meaningless gimmick for what it is.
“With the hard right-wing of the Tory party threatening to axe the Barnett Formula and slaughter Scotland’s public services it’s time to take our future into our own hands.
“More and more voters are ready to choose a different path to secure a brighter vision for a better Scotland.”
Johnson said that the Barnett Formula was a “slightly reckless promise”.
In 2009, Boris Johnson said the Barnett Formula is a “system of amazing political antiquity by which the English taxpayer sends about pounds 20 billion every year to Scotland as a kind of present”.
In 2006, Johnson said “It is becoming clearer and clearer to people that they are being short-changed. The Barnett formula is producing deeply inequitable outcomes”.
Johnson infamously alleged a “pound spent in Croydon or Tottenham, the areas hit by the riots last year, will generate far more for the rest of the economy than a pound spent in Strathclyde.” He later added to this by saying “If it causes Celtic wailing, then I’m willing to go there and make the case that it’s right for them too”.