Johnsons plan rides roughshod over devolution.
Commenting on reports in today’s Times that the UK Government are seeking to bypass the Scottish Parliament and spend money directly in devolved areas in an attempt to shore up support for the union, Kate Forbes (pictured) has said that if there is more funding to be made available for spending in Scotland, then it should be provided to the Scottish Government through the usual channels.
Kate Forbes said:
“It is unsurprising that the Tories are in panic mode in response to last week’s emphatic SNP election victory, but they need to realise that ‘working together’ involves doing things with Scotland – not doing things to Scotland.
“The SNP won the election on the back of a clear plan to lead Scotland through the COVID crisis and into a recovery, including a full-scale remobilisation of the NHS.
“If there is funding available to support the SNP Government’s recovery plans on devolved areas such as health and infrastructure, then it should come to Scotland through the established channels – to try and circumvent this process in response to an SNP landslide is frankly bizarre and rides roughshod over the devolved settlement Scotland voted for.
“Of course, if the Tories finally want to deliver on their end of the bargain on infrastructure projects like delivering High Speed Rail on the East Coast, projects which require them to take action in the rest of the UK, then we would welcome them getting on with their job.
“Far from increased investment, people in Scotland know that the reality of Tory rule over Scotland has been a decade of austerity and increasing threats to cut even more from public spending, and increasing attempts to muscle in on devolved spending areas with vanity projects like a Boris Bridge.
“Last week’s election result means there is a new reality in Scottish politics, and the longer it takes the Tories to realise that, the more they make the case for all decisions about Scotland being taken in Scotland.”