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Cheryl Gillan

The Tories are as bad as Labour

Hark! Can you hear it? The sound of Welsh and Scottish Tories trumpeting the Union Dividend.

Cheryl Gillan, the Welsh secretary, said the Welsh government still received more per head than any part of England except London. "This is a fair funding settlement for Wales," she said. "But like elsewhere, tough funding decisions will have to be faced in Cardiff Bay." And Michael Moore, the Scottish secretary, said: "For Scotland, this is a fair deal in tough times. Spending on frontline services will be reduced by less than in England, Wales or Northern Ireland."

They're as bad as Labour.

Scottish Labour today reacted with fury to reports that the Tory – Lib Dem government is planning to scrap the Barnett Formula. Experts have warned that replacing the funding mechanism for Scotland with a so-called “needs based” system would see reductions of up to £4.5 bn in the Scottish budget.

Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray said:

"Many Scots feel betrayed by the Lib Dems for doing a deal with the Tories because they have so little in common, but they both want to scrap the Barnett Formula.

"That could torpedo Scotland's budget and lead to unimaginable cuts to public services here.

"The Barnett Formula has served Scotland well over many years.

UPDATE

David Blunkett has suddenly decided to mention (now that his party is no longer in government) that public spending is higher in Scotland:

The four men responsible for preparing, prioritising and pushing through these spending reductions have one overriding thing in common. David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander represent constituencies which will feel less of an impact from the reductions in public expenditure and welfare payments than virtually any other part of the UK; will be under less pressure in their advice surgeries and community meetings; and, therefore, will receive less feedback on the real impact of their decisions on the country as a whole than other MPs.

The three English constituencies are among the top 10 most affluent in England; and Mr Alexander is protected by higher spending in Scotland, as well as different prioritisation from the devolved administration.

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