Scottish Secretary David Mundell said today’s Budget would move Scotland further along the way to becoming a lower tax, higher wage and lower welfare economy.
With measures to reduce the deficit, boost growth and create jobs, he said it would also help people off benefits and into work, while protecting the most vulnerable.
Mr Mundell said:
This is a Budget for the whole of the UK. It rewards work, backs aspiration and ensures fairness for taxpayers across the UK. We’re moving towards a lower tax, higher wage and lower welfare economy. And within the welfare system, we continue to protect the most vulnerable.
The economy is growing. We are taking more people out of tax. Jobs are being created. The deficit is coming down . Our economic plan is working.
On welfare, Mr Mundell said help would be focused on the most vulnerable and reforms would continue to build a welfare system which ensures work always pays.
The UK currently has 1 per cent of the world’s population, but 7 per cent of the world’s welfare bill. That cannot be right and is not sustainable.
Work is the best route to a secure future, and the peace of mind which that brings . We are making sure we have a welfare system which always rewards work, while making sure the most vulnerable are protected.
Mr Mundell also hailed the introduction of a new National Living Wage. That will rise from £7.20-an-hour on introduction in April next year to £9-an-hour by 2020 for workers aged 25 and above.
The National Living Wage is an essential part of the move from a low wage, high tax, high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society. It ensures that work pays, and reduces reliance on the State topping up wages through the benefits system.
On plans to eradicate the deficit, Mr Mundell added:
There is no sensible person who suggests the deficit we inherited should not be tackled. Even our opponents agree with us on that. It would be wrong to burden our children and grandchildren – the next generations - with debt run up by previous governments in this generation.
This is part of being a responsible, responsive Government.