The Chancellor of the Exchequer will host a business roundtable in Edinburgh with sectors including financial services and oil and gas. He will also visit the Scottish Parliament and a local business.
It comes after the Chancellor set out how he would provide the Scottish Government with more than £800 million through to 2020/21, giving it the means to invest significantly in infrastructure. This investment shows that through economic strength and certainty, the UK is the vital union for Scotland.
The trip also comes following the UK government’s announcement yesterday (30 November 2016) that it will transfer £12 billion worth of income tax powers from Westminster to Holyrood under the Scotland Act 2016.
Marking a major milestone for Scotland, the move will mean Holyrood controls income tax rates and thresholds from April next year, making the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.
During the trip, the Chancellor will also meet the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Chancellor will use the roundtable and meetings as an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities of leaving the EU with both the First Minister and Scottish and UK business leaders; as well as reiterating the importance of working together as one United Kingdom.
In addition to the £800 million capital budget boost, the Autumn Statement also outlined that the UK government is working with the Scottish Government towards a City Deal in Stirling, and has already confirmed funding for deals with Aberdeen and Inverness. Negotiations for an Edinburgh City Deal are continuing and the UK government is looking forward to seeing proposals from Tay cities.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:
“Scotland’s contribution to the UK is invaluable and we have delivered on the Scottish Government’s call for increased capital funding and investment through our Autumn Statement.
The rest of the UK is also Scotland’s most important market, providing four times the trade volume than that of the EU 27 – so it is imperative that we work together to achieve the best for everyone in the United Kingdom.
The Scottish Government now has responsibility for significant areas of policy as a result of further devolution and I look forward to meeting with the First Minister of Scotland to ensure we seize the opportunities we face together in the future.”