BORDERS politicians have differed in their views on chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's 'mini-budget' announced last week.

Mr Kwarteng unveiled the biggest package of tax cuts for decades which abolished the top rate of income tax for the highest earners.

His announcements also included scrapping a cap on bankers' bonuses, reversing a rise in National Insurance and cutting stamp duty tax for some buyers.

Reacting to the mini-budget, Tweeddale MP David Mundell, of the Conservatives, said: “For around 2.3 million workers across Scotland, a cut in National Insurance payments will save hundreds of pounds a year, further helping to ease the pressure on hard-pressed family budgets.”

Adding his views, Borders MP John Lamont, also of the Conservatives, said it would result in a tax cut worth £285 on average for workers in the region.

“It is right that the UK Government has announced such a huge package of measures to combat rising energy prices," said Mr Lamont, who represents Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk. "This means that the average household in the Borders will save £1,400 on their energy bills this year, with vulnerable households receiving even more.

“Not only that, there are a host of tax cuts to help boost the economy, including National Insurance contributions.

“This will mean that thousands of workers in the Borders will receive a tax cut worth around £285 a year from November."

Mr Kwarteng said that alcohol duty would be frozen for another year, a move welcomed by Mr Lamont.

“I am glad to see the government also heed the calls of Scottish MPs like me who have been lobbying for alcohol duty to be frozen," he said. "This is so important for our local pubs as well as the Scotch whisky industry.

“With the UK Government now delivering even more money for the Scottish Government, there are big decisions to be made about how they will help families up and down the country, whilst ensuring the Scottish tax system remains equitable.”

However, Borders MSP Christine Grahame, of the SNP, described the mini-budget as "deeply disappointing".

“This mini-budget is deeply disappointing but ultimately not surprising from the UK Government," said Ms Grahame, who represents Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale. "The Conservatives continue to pursue so called 'trickle down' economic policy wherein they seem to believe that making the rich richer will eventually trickle down to the average person.

“Unfortunately years of evidence tells us that the super rich are very good at retaining wealth, meaning it just makes the rich richer and poor poorer – but of course that conveniently benefits many rich Tory donors. Subsequently we are seeing the UK public finances in a very dangerous place on the back of the tax cuts on Friday, borrowing is increasing, interest rates are rising, investor confidence is declining, and the pound is collapsing in value.

“People on over £155,000 and bankers claiming astronomic bonuses are the people who will benefit from this mini-budget, it will not help those on average incomes in the face of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, and it will have a detrimental impact on spending on public services which are already under pressure.

“This is just more of the same from a Tory government which has presided over the UK's economy for 12 years now, while the number of food banks has rocketed and levels of child poverty that should be unthinkable in a rich nation like the UK shamefully continue.

“The Scottish Government has only limited powers over taxation in varying income tax levels, and as such it will make any decisions on what to do in Scotland on the basis of looking at the application of the principles of fairness and the pursuit of progressive taxation to strike the right balance between taxation and public expenditure."