JEREMY Hunt has been invited to appear before the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee for a second time after snubbing a previous request via his Chief Secretary last month.

The committee put out a suggestive tweet on Wednesday morning saying it was “keen to have positive relations with UK Government ministers”, reflecting the disappointment among MSPs over the initial rejection from the Chancellor.

John Glen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, wrote the rejection letter in mid-January saying neither him nor his boss would be attending. The invite was sent at the start of November.

But MSPs are not taking no for an answer and Hunt has been now summoned to the committee for a second time to discuss UK fiscal matters and how these impact on the Scottish Budget.

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The committee said in a stern letter to the Chancellor that UK tax and spending decisions were “significant” to Scotland and it would have “appreciated” the chance to engage in a constructive evidence session.

The letter from convener Kenneth Gibson (SNP) said: “The Committee is disappointed to receive a response from the Rt Hon. John Glen MP, declining our invitation, particularly given the significant impact of UK Government tax and spending decisions on the overall size of the Scottish Budget. It is also regrettable that you did not respond to our request directly.

“The Chief Secretary’s letter states that he is ‘mindful of parliamentary accountabilities, where the UK Government is accountable to the UK Parliament for its tax and spending decisions’.

“You may be aware that previous Scottish Parliament finance committees have held positive and constructive evidence sessions with former Chief Secretaries to the Treasury, including the Rt Hon. Liz Truss in 2018, the Rt Hon. David Gauke MP in 2014, and the Rt Hon. Danny Alexander in 2013 and 2010.

“More recently, in 2022, we heard from the Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on how post-EU funds are operating in Scotland. The committee would have appreciated you making yourself available in a similar way, particularly given the commitment by the Prime Minister on 13 January 2023 that ‘as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I want to work constructively with the Scottish Government to make a difference to the people in Scotland’.

“Indeed, we believe that being the first Chancellor to appear before the committee would be a positive experience for all involved.

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“The committee is keen to continue our positive relations with UK Government Ministers on these important issues and we would therefore hope that you will be able to attend the committee in the near future, such as after the UK Spring Budget in March.”

The committee has given the Chancellor a fresh deadline of March 7 to respond to the invitation.

The letter adds that further devolution and sharing of powers in recent years “has led to budgetary decisions in the UK and Scotland becoming more closely linked”.

It states: “In order to properly scrutinise Scotland’s overall public finances, we therefore consider that we must deepen our understanding of how UK Government decisions affect areas such as the Block Grant, Barnett consequentials in year, and the operation of the Fiscal Framework.”

Areas the committee wishes to discuss include the extent to which the UK Government shares with the Scottish Government in advance the timing and key impacts of its fiscal statements, budgetary decisions and Barnett consequentials.

It also hopes to engage with the UK Government on the details of how it plans to grow the UK economy and reduce inflationary impacts on UK and devolved budgets.

The letter states the committee is becoming “increasingly concerned” that the Review of the Fiscal Framework – an assessment into how funding for the Scottish Government is calculated is now long overdue.

It says: “Borrowing powers and other fiscal flexibilities under the framework have remained the same since 2016, despite the significant challenges since, not least inflation.

“We would therefore welcome an update on when the Terms of Reference for the Fiscal Framework Review will be agreed between the two governments, the timescale for completion of the review, and the date on which the related independent report, which was provided to the governments in October 2022, will be published.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government is accountable to the UK Parliament for its tax and spending decisions, with the Scottish Government being accountable to the Scottish Parliament.”