Employment Minister Richard Lochhead has said Scotland is losing out following the launch of the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund which replaces previous EU structural funds.
Speaking ahead of a Parliamentary debate today (Wednesday 27 April), Mr Lochhead said the UK Government had reneged on its promise to replace in full lost EU funding to Scotland by instead delivering a real term cut in funding of 60%.
Mr Lochhead said:
“The UK Government promised that Scotland would not lose out as a result of Brexit, as lost EU funding would be replaced in full through its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
“In order to fulfil this promise, the Scottish Government estimated that £183 million per year would be needed to replace the various streams of EU Funding.
“In its first three years, the UK Government has allocated only £212 million through the UKSPF, which is only 39% of the required £549 million replacement amount.
“For more than two years we have called on the UK Government to ensure Scottish Government Ministers could shape and align this new fund, sharing across a broad spectrum of groups, as was done with European funding.
“Instead, the UK Government is the sole decision maker for how this funding is used.
“While local authorities will receive Scottish Government support in developing Investment Plans, it is deeply concerning the allocation of funding does not include community groups and the Third Sector which are crucial in tackling poverty and inequality during this cost of living crisis.”