Debates between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman

There have been 8 exchanges between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman

1 Tue 2nd July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
HM Treasury
5 interactions (346 words)
2 Tue 9th April 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
HM Treasury
5 interactions (329 words)
3 Tue 18th December 2018 ONS Decisions: Student Loans
HM Treasury
3 interactions (81 words)
4 Tue 3rd July 2018 Treasury Spending: Grants to Devolved Institutions
HM Treasury
2 interactions (779 words)
5 Tue 22nd May 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
HM Treasury
5 interactions (280 words)
6 Tue 27th February 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
HM Treasury
3 interactions (131 words)
7 Wed 29th November 2017 Exiting the EU: Costs
HM Treasury
3 interactions (267 words)
8 Tue 28th November 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
HM Treasury
2 interactions (120 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 2nd July 2019

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard

I can tell the hon. Lady what would lead to greater poverty in this country: a Government who wanted to overthrow capitalism, declare business the enemy and ruin the private sector businesses that are employing people and giving them extra wages.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Parliament Live - Hansard
2 Jul 2019, 11:36 a.m.

The Chancellor has been at the forefront of arguing that a decade of austerity was necessary. This has led to 24% of Scottish children and 30% of English children being in poverty. If the Chancellor believes that this pain was not ideological and unnecessary, will he vote against a Tory tax cuts for the rich Budget, as proposed by the Prime Minister’s most likely successor?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard

With respect to the hon. Lady, she clearly did not hear my earlier answer, when I said that absolute poverty after housing costs is at a historic low for children. That is true right across our country. Of course, the Scottish National party Government in Scotland could take steps to help children by improving educational standards; that is what they should be focusing on.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman - Parliament Live - Hansard
2 Jul 2019, 11:38 a.m.

The Minister might not want to tackle inequality, but the Scottish Government do. The polls show that a majority of Scottish people support the tax changes that mean the Scottish Government can fund a £10 a week payment to families with the most vulnerable children, mitigating the ideological austerity obsession of this Conservative Government. If the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) becomes Prime Minister, 53% of Scots will support independence. And who can blame them, given the Scottish Government’s plans to support and help young people and this Government’s ideological austerity obsession?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard
2 Jul 2019, 11:38 a.m.

The reality is that the Scottish Government are now forecast to bring in lower rates of income tax than expected, because they have not followed through on our raising of the threshold to £50,000, so people in Scotland on £50,000 are now paying £1,500 more tax. The fact is that raising tax reduces incentives for people to get up the earnings ladder, reduces economic growth and means that we do not have the opportunities and funding for public services.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 9th April 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard
9 Apr 2019, 11:52 a.m.

I would have thought that the hon. Lady would welcome the fact that unemployment in Scotland is at a record low level, thanks to our policies of getting more people into work and of making work pay.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Parliament Live - Hansard
9 Apr 2019, 11:53 a.m.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the fourth year of the benefits freeze. Since it was brought in in 2016, the consumer prices index has increased by 6.6%, but working-age benefits have been frozen. That literally means that those in the most need can afford fewer necessities. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that by 2020, the benefits freeze will have pushed 400,000 into poverty. How can the Chancellor justify that?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard
9 Apr 2019, 11:53 a.m.

I would have thought that the hon. Lady would welcome the fact that we are ending the benefits freeze. It is responsible to do so only when people in work’s wages are rising. Thanks to our economic reforms, our reforms to employment law and our welfare reforms, we are now able to do that.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman - Parliament Live - Hansard
9 Apr 2019, 11:54 a.m.

The benefits freeze is a political choice made by this Conservative Government and this Conservative Treasury; it is not a necessity. It is one of the biggest cuts to social security we have seen in recent times. The entire cost of the work allowance concessions over three years amounts to less than the benefits freeze takes away in one year. When FTSE 100 chief executive pay has increased by 11% in the past year, is it not now time that the UK Government got their priorities in order and protected those who need it most rather than giving tax cuts to the richest?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard

The hon. Lady obviously has not heard my answer that we are now moving to a situation in which benefits will rise in line with inflation, but let us be honest about the choices that the Scottish Government are making. Their choice is to raise taxes on people earning £50,000 by £1,500 a year, driving business out of Scotland and making the Scottish economy less successful.

ONS Decisions: Student Loans

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 18th December 2018

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard
18 Dec 2018, 1:06 p.m.

That is certainly one of the aspects the review is looking at.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Parliament Live - Hansard
18 Dec 2018, 1:06 p.m.

When will we have the full details of how this fits in with the Government’s fiscal plans—in the spring statement, the spending review or the autumn Budget next year?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
18 Dec 2018, 1:06 p.m.

In the spring statement, we would expect to see the revised forecasts. Of course, Government spending plans, which incorporate a huge number of areas and a huge number of Departments, will be announced at the spending review in the Budget.

Treasury Spending: Grants to Devolved Institutions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 3rd July 2018

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
3 Jul 2018, 6:54 p.m.

It was very good to meet my hon. Friend to discuss the Clackmannanshire and Stirling city region deal and I look forward to visiting him and his colleagues soon in Scotland to see how things are working on the ground. I can confirm that we will be working further with the Scottish Government on those issues.

I commend the work that is being done on the oil and gas industry by my colleagues in Scotland. That issue was also raised by the hon. Members for Aberdeen North and for Glasgow North (Patrick Grady). As well as visiting Stirling and Clackmannanshire, I will be going up to Aberdeen to hear directly from representatives from the oil and gas industry. [Interruption.] Well, that is a very kind comment, sir, and may I offer the hon. Member for Ealing North (Stephen Pound) a happy birthday on this great occasion?

A number of Members raised the issue of health funding. As has been explained by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, we will be presenting the details of how that will be funded in due course and, of course, the Barnett consequentials will be passed to the devolved Administration. It is very important that we ensure that, for every pound of money that we spend, we get maximum value for money. With that money going into the health service, we are making sure that it is improving productivity, improving efficiency and getting the maximum benefit from our hardworking staff on the frontline. That will, of course, be part of the work that we do as well.

On Brexit, we heard the usual contradictions from Scottish National party Members. First, they said that if we were to leave the customs union, which is what we, as a Government, have promised to do, that would be bad news for Scotland. We are, of course, seeking the most frictionless arrangements at the border that we possibly can. They also said that they wanted an independent Scotland, cut off from the rest of the UK. Given that goods worth £46 billion travel from Scotland into the rest of the UK every year, that sounds to me like a highly contradictory statement.

We also heard various comments about Northern Ireland and the additional £1 billion allocated to it. I point out to all Members of the House that, of course, we have the Barnett formula, which is about making sure that consequentials are passed through when there is a change in spending in England, but it is absolutely standard practice that we do fund outside the Barnett formula where it is valid, and we have done so in the past. For example, the Stormont House and Fresh Start agreements were funded outside the Barnett formula. We altered the Barnett formula, as was mentioned by the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards), to make sure that spending levels in Wales are fair, and we have also allocated extra money to city deals across Wales and Scotland, because they have, in many cases, largely devolved purposes.

I am pleased that the hon. Member for Aberdeen North welcomed the funding that we are providing for the potential visit of the American President to Scotland. I confirmed today that we will supply an extra £5 million to cover the cost incurred by Police Scotland. Again, that is outside the Barnett formula. Therefore, we do have the Barnett formula there for the important work that is done across Government, but it is right that we should look at the specific circumstances that we face with respect to Northern Ireland and to getting the right city deals in Scotland and Wales. We need to ensure that we use our funding in that flexible way.

We have heard some fantastic speeches in the House today, but I observe that the champions of fiscal rectitude and enterprise in Scotland sit on the Conservative Benches.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman - Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Jul 2018, 6:59 p.m.

I appreciate the chance to have a minute at the end of this debate. On the debate and the way it has been conducted, I appreciate the fact that so many people have taken an interest in the finances that are being granted to the devolved institutions. I really hope that, when it comes to the Budget process later this year, we see the same level of interest.

Finally, the change in the process is welcome to ensure that we can actually debate the estimates, but I suggest that further change is still needed to ensure that the estimates debates can be meaningfully amended and that proper alternatives can be put forward so that we can make it clear what our alternative spending plans would be and that we can have actual meaningful votes on them.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 22nd May 2018

(2 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
22 May 2018, 11:45 a.m.

My hon. Friend is right that we need to keep taxes down, but we also need to recognise the role that free enterprise and free markets play in encouraging competition, allowing new products to come to the market and keeping prices low. The reason why we have low food prices and cheap air fares is because we have successfully kept those markets open. The Labour party advocates abandoning that.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Hansard
22 May 2018, 11:45 a.m.

Tory austerity will result in annual social security cuts of £4 billion in Scotland by 2020. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that 1 million more children will be pushed into poverty across the UK. With planned devolution covering only 15% of social security spending, the blame lies firmly at the Chancellor’s door. Does the Minister think that is acceptable?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
22 May 2018, 11:45 a.m.

What I find incredible is that the Scottish National party, which has been in power in Scotland for many years, presiding over declining education standards and now raising taxes in Scotland, has the audacity not to take responsibility for its own policies and actions.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman - Hansard
22 May 2018, 11:45 a.m.

The Chief Secretary did not answer my question. Once a fortnight someone comes into my office with so little income that we have to refer them to a food bank. When will the Chancellor realise how much harm he is causing? When will he reverse the cuts and when will he end the hunger?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
22 May 2018, 11:45 a.m.

The reality is that we have seen more people in work in Scotland, as we have across the country, and that is delivering more real income. We have held taxes down across the country, to the tune of £1,000 per basic rate taxpayer, which means that people have more disposable income to spend.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 27th February 2018

(2 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I note that council tax doubled under the previous Labour Government, and we are hearing talk from the Opposition that there might be another rise if they were to get into government again.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Parliament Live - Hansard
27 Feb 2018, 11:40 a.m.

The issue of public sector pay is inextricably linked to the level of funding provided to both local authorities and other public bodies. Will the Chief Secretary commit to lifting the public sector pay cap across the board and to properly funding these pay increases?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
27 Feb 2018, 11:41 a.m.

We put an extra £2 billion of spending power into the hands of the Scottish Government at the last Budget, and we have also said that we want to be flexible over public sector pay to make sure we are retaining and recruiting the best possible staff.

Exiting the EU: Costs

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Wednesday 29th November 2017

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
29 Nov 2017, 11:30 a.m.

My right hon. Friend makes a very fair point. Whatever happens, we will not be paying anything like what we would have paid as an EU member. That represents a considerable saving to the British taxpayer.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Hansard
29 Nov 2017, 11:30 a.m.

I thank the hon. Member for Nottingham East (Mr Leslie) for bringing this matter to the House.

There would be no newspaper rumours about the sum if the Government actually told us what the sum was. Nobody voted for this disastrous, disorganised EU exit. People voted for £350 million a week for the NHS, not to spend £40 billion or £50 billion just to be worse off. Our public services must not pay the price for this Brexit mess. It surprised us all when the Prime Minister found a magic money tree earlier this year, so surely the Government cannot have been lucky enough to find two. Given that last week’s Budget did not make provision for this £40 billion or £50 billion, will the Chancellor now bring forward an emergency Budget to explain where he is finding the money?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Hansard
29 Nov 2017, 11:30 a.m.

When the hon. Lady stood up, I thought that she was going to thank the Government for the £2 billion additional spending power that we gave to the Scottish Government in the Budget, which they will no doubt be able to use to improve their public services. As I have said before—and, indeed, as has been pointed out by the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds)—talking about the money now would cut across the negotiations and prevent us from getting the best possible deal. That is not in anyone’s interests.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Elizabeth Truss and Kirsty Blackman
Tuesday 28th November 2017

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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HM Treasury
Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP) - Parliament Live - Hansard

In the Budget, more than £1 billion of the so-called extra money for Scotland was in the form of financial transaction money—that is money that the Scottish Government have to pay back. The block grant for spending on frontline services is down £230 million in real terms. How can the Chancellor suggest that a £230 million reduction for Scotland is a good deal for our country?

Elizabeth Truss Portrait Elizabeth Truss - Parliament Live - Hansard
28 Nov 2017, 12:24 p.m.

Scotland’s spending power has been increased by £2 billion in this Budget, including financial transactions, which support fantastic schemes such as Help to Buy, but what we need to see is the Scottish National party Government using their powers to deliver for Scotland, including by improving their appalling results in English and maths education.