The SNP are accusing the Scottish Tories of spouting “shamelessly misleading garbage” over their so-called levelling up fund.
SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart said:
“No one can take a word the Tories say on this issue seriously after Rishi Sunak’s bizarre boast that he robbed poorer areas to divert cash to richer, Tory-voting communities.
“The Tories have form for this in Scotland, too, after siphoning off money from the Highlands and Islands to go to their own constituencies – and no one should imagine the same wouldn’t happen under a Sunak or Truss premiership.
“The Scottish Tories are guilty of spouting shamelessly misleading garbage when the damaging reality is that Scotland is being seriously short-changed to the tune of £131million this year alone.
“These funds are supposed to replace money from the European Union sent to the Scottish Government to spend on Scottish priorities but since the catastrophe of Brexit, not only are the Tories bypassing Scotland’s democratically-elected Government, this year they are coughing up just £31m instead of the £183m Scotland would have received from the EU.
“While Scottish councils will of course take steps to secure any funding available, Tory levelling up means Scotland losing out on transformational projects which bring significant benefits to businesses and communities.
“Since the Brexit vote, the Scottish Government has tried to engage constructively with the Tories to try to make sure these funds were delivered in a meaningful way, consistent with the devolution settlement and aligned with our national economic aims and ambitions.
“Instead, the UK Government has undermined devolution by failing to give the Scottish Government a decision-making role – which ultimately fails to meet the needs of Scotland’s communities.
“The only way we can escape this deeply-damaging Westminster control is to create a wealthier and fairer independent Scotland.”