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Rishi Sunak fronts up to Nicola Sturgeon's independence drive and 

Rishi Sunak used the Budget to slam Nicola Sturgeon's drive for Scottish independence as he vowed to pour billions into the home nations.

The Chancellor said he had created a 'Budget for the whole United Kingdom' which would see Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the most central government funding in more than two decades.

In additional, areas including Aberdeen and Clwyd South are among constituencies that will receive money from the £1.7billion Levelling Up Fund.

The SNP's Ian Blackford accused him of using 'smoke and mirrors' to hide the fact that families would be 'hundreds of pounds worse off next year due to Tory cuts, tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit'.

Addressing MPs this afternoon Mr Sunak said: 'This is a Budget for the whole United Kingdom.

'Through the Barnett formula, today's decisions increase Scottish Government funding, in each year by an average of £4.6bn, Welsh Government funding by £2.5bn, and £1.6bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.

'This delivers, in real terms, the largest block grants for the devolved administrations since the devolution settlements of 1998.'

The Chancellor said he had created a 'Budget for the whole United Kingdom' which would see Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the most central government funding in more than two decades.

Ms Sturgeon today hosted a bilateral meeting with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at Bute House

The SNP's Ian Blackford accused him of using 'smoke and mirrors' to hide the fact that families would be 'hundreds of pounds worse off next year due to Tory cuts, tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit'

WHAT IS THE BARNETT FORMULA? 

The Barnett formula is an algorithm which dictates the level of public spending in  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is used by the Treasury to decide how extra funding, or cuts, should be allocated based on population size and which powers are devolved to them.

When the UK Government decides to spend more or less on health or education in England, for example, the formula decides how much money the other nations should get. 

If £1billion was to be added to the education budget in England then the formula would essentially times that money by the devolved nations' population proportion compared to England. This is then multiplied by the extent to which the UK department's services are devolved. 

The formula is named after its inventor, the former Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury Joel Barnett, who devised it in the late 1970s.

It is widely recognised as being flawed because it looks almost solely at population size and doesn't take into account different needs in different areas.

Public spending is significantly different in parts of the UK - for example it has typically been 20 per cent higher in Scotland than in England. 

Officials in Wales, which has the lowest GDP in the UK, claim the country misses out on up to £300m a year.

On why the formula has stood the test of time, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) told MailOnline: 'First, being based on population means it's simple to apply and to explain. 

'Second, it's just already there and replacing it with a new, more complex formula would mean losers as well as winners. 

'That makes reform politically difficult even if in the end it would be arguably fairer. Agreement would be needed on which other factors to include and what weight to put on them, requiring consultation, debate, and - at least in parts of the country - unpopular decisions to be taken.'

In another boost for Scotland and other areas producing spirits, the Chancellor told MPs in his Budget speech that the planned increase in duty on drinks such as Scotch whisky, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled from midnight.

He said this alone will represent a tax cut worth £3 billion.

He also announced £150 million for Scottish businesses through the British Business Bank.

The Barnett formula is an algorithm which dictates the level of public spending in  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is used by the Treasury to decide how extra funding, or cuts, should be allocated based on population size and which powers are devolved to them.

When the UK Government decides to spend more or less on health or education in England, for example, the formula decides how much money the other nations should get. 

If £1billion was to be added to the education budget in England then the formula would essentially times that money by the devolved nations' population proportion compared to England. 

This is then multiplied by the extent to which the UK department's services are devolved. 

Mr Blackford said: 'The piecemeal measures won't even offset Tory Universal Credit cuts, National Insurance hikes or rising inflation, let alone boost incomes.

'The Tory government has short-changed Scotland by billions of pounds. It has broken its pledge to invest in Scottish carbon capture projects, failed to match the Scottish Government's £500million just transition fund, failed to fully replace EU funding for Scottish local authorities, and failed to compensate Scotland for the damage of Brexit.

'It beggars belief that the Tories expect us to be grateful even though they are making families poorer and robbing Scotland of investment.'

But Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: 'The announcement of the biggest block grant since devolution will ensure Scottish public services are protected going forward.

'Rishi Sunak's world-leading furlough scheme saved a million Scottish jobs throughout the pandemic and the new £150 million of funding for small Scottish businesses will keep our economic recovery from Covid on track.

'The extra cash to help bring major sporting events to the UK is very welcome, particularly the extra funding to help bring the football World Cup home, and we'll be stepping up our efforts to try and bring the final to Glasgow if the UK bid is successful.

'This is a Budget that delivers for working people in Scotland by focusing on protecting jobs, providing essential extra funding of £4.6 billion for public services, and freezing fuel duty to help drivers up and down the country.

'The spirit duty freeze will provide an enormous boost to Scotland's thriving whisky industry. Whisky is not just an iconic Scottish brand but a vital employer and crucial part of the local economy in rural communities like my own constituency of Moray.

'While the SNP have taken powers from local areas over the last 14 years, the UK Government is empowering communities by investing directly in innovative infrastructure and regeneration projects across Scotland.

'Rishi Sunak's Budget will build a stronger economy for communities across Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.'