UK GOVERNMENT BACKTRACKS ON CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT FOR SCOTLAND

For immediate release:

UK GOVERNMENT BACKTRACKS ON CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT FOR SCOTLAND

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has called on local Tory representatives to make the case for coronavirus funding pledges to be honoured after the UK Government backtracked on £70 million worth of funding for business and charities in Scotland.

On 2nd May, the UK Government announced a £617 million extension to business grants, which it advised would generate £60 million of funding consequentials for Scotland under the Barnett Formula.

However, the UK Government has now informed the Scottish Government that this additional funding would not now materialise, which will cause concern for businesses and industry in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.

Furthermore, last month, £35 million of consequentials were earmarked to the Scottish Government in respect of charity support direct grant, but this was amended by the Treasury to £25 million at a later date.

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“Funding commitments from the UK Government have to be taken in good faith as we work through this pandemic, but the fact that Boris Johnson’s government has simply pulled the rug on £70 million of funding completely undermines the whole process.

“The Scottish Government committed to spending that money in the belief that the UK Government would honour its word. Local Tory politicians should urgently seek reassurance from their colleagues in the Treasury that future funding announcements will be robust and reliable enough to act upon without creating unnecessary financial risks.

“We’ve already seen the Scottish Government take action to fill gaps in UK-wide support schemes, so the last thing we need is an additional financial burden put on local businesses because of the Treasury’s shameful decision to short-change Scotland.

“Whilst much of the UK Government support has been welcome, they must act immediately to ensure the £70 million they promised is allocated as quickly as possible and, in its entirety.”

ENDS

Notes:

Link to Scottish Government release, including letter from Kate Forbes MSP to the Treasury – https://www.gov.scot/news/covid-funding-plea/

Link to UK Government funding announcement – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme

Date published: 1st June 2020

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