John Swinney has claimed Scotland’s day-to-day budget will be slashed by almost 6% because of cuts by George Osborne.
The deputy first minister said “ideologically driven austerity” would “hit the poorest hardest” as Scotland is forced to tighten its belt.
But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson defended the chancellor’s statement, which she said would mean a 14% real terms rise in the capital budget north of the border.
She said the SNP now needed to “put shovels in the ground” by using the cash to invest in transport infrastructure and new homes.
Capital spending in Scotland will rise by £1.9billion in the years to 2021, with the Scottish block grant to be more than £30billion in 2019-20, Mr Osborne announced yesterday.
Mr Swinney said: “The chancellor has continued with ideologically driven austerity of choice. Scotland will see almost 6% of the day-to-day budget that pays for public service slashed as a result of this chancellor’s statement.
“The Scottish Government has consistently demonstrated that the UK’s deficit and debt can be brought down without the need for huge public spending cuts.
“These cuts are damaging, needless and will hit the poorest hardest.
“We will continue to do everything within our power to protect the most vulnerable from the UK Government’s austerity measures – austerity of choice, not necessity – but we want to use our powers and resources to lift people out of poverty, not just continually mitigate as best we can.
“That will be our focus as we draw up spending plans ahead of the Scottish Budget next month.”
Ms Davidson dismissed his concerns and suggested there was now “absolutely no case” for the SNP to “hike up taxes on working families”.
The Scotland Bill would allow the Scottish Government to set the rate of income tax north of the border.
Ms Davidson said: “This spending review hands the Scottish Government a 14% real terms increase in capital spending up till 2021. The SNP needs to put shovels in the ground immediately so we too get the new homes, the better transport routes, and the high quality schools that people are waiting for.
“The spending review also makes it clear that there is absolutely no case for the SNP hiking up taxes on working families when new powers are transferred to it.”