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Finance Ministers criticise Treasury’s spending cuts


Finance Ministers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have claimed that the UK government is making spending cuts “too fast and too far”.

The joint statement on spending has been issued by Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Arlene Foster of the Northern Ireland Executive and Jane Hutt of the Welsh government. It claims that continuing austerity measures are posing a risk to public services. The three ministers have now called for a meeting to discuss the matter ahead of the forthcoming spending review.

The letter says that last month’s budget included elements that would affect them, yet they had no consultation on the matter.

The letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands, says:
"The three devolved administrations share the view that the UK government's ongoing austerity plans, reflected in both the in-year spending reductions announced on 4 June and in the Summer Budget, continue to reduce public spending in the UK too fast and too far, and present unnecessary risks to our public services.

"We also share the view that the UK government's plans were developed and communicated in an unsatisfactory way, with neither advance notice nor apparent consideration of the implications for the devolved administrations."

A Treasury spokesperson has claimed that the Treasury regularly meets with the ministers, and that the government’s long-term economic plan is working.

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