Call for Chancellor to refund £140m to police and fire
Derek Mackay is urging the Chancellor to end the services having to pay VAT.
Scotland's Finance Secretary has said a "key test" of Philip Hammond's Budget will be whether he refunds £140m to the police and fire services in Scotland.
Derek Mackay is urging the Chancellor to end the current requirement for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to pay VAT, which was brought in when regional forces were merged to form the single, national bodies.
And he wants the Treasury to go further and refund the £140 million they have paid out so far.
Mr Mackay is also urging the Chancellor to think again on proposed public spending cuts, and to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit, which combines several benefits into one payment.
Mr Hammond is expected to use his Budget speech at the House of Commons to set out a vision for "global Britain" with a "prosperous and inclusive economy where everybody has the opportunity to shine wherever in the UK they live, whatever their background".
With the clock ticking on Brexit he will also argue that the UK should be "an outward looking, free-trading nation, a force for good in the world, a country fit for the future".
Mr Mackay made clear however that the Scottish Government "remains resolute in our opposition to the UK Government's austerity agenda", arguing that this "disproportionately hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in society".
He said: "The Chancellor must meet key tests in his Autumn Budget to repair some of this damage, to recognise the serious challenges we are facing as a result of Brexit and to bring forward substantial measures to boost the economy and ease the pressure on the public sector and those who work in it.
"Mr Hammond must reverse his plans to cut an additional £3.5b, halt his £600 million reduction for Scotland's railways and finally address the issue of police and fire VAT that has cost Scotland's emergency services £140m to date.
"And the UK Government must use this opportunity to stop the damage being done to individual households by the roll-out of Universal Credit and welfare cuts."
The Scottish Finance Secretary said: "I have provided a consistent and comprehensive case for a better settlement for Scotland, and expect the Chancellor to respond positively."