The SNP has called on Douglas Ross (pictured) and the Tories to apologise to struggling Scottish businesses who have been left in a lurch due to their misleading extra funding claims, after the Tory Welsh Secretary today apologised and admitted that it “was not new money.”
Simon Hart said he was “sorry if anybody got the impression that it was new money”, following the Treasury claims that Wales would receive £227m in additional coronavirus support.
The Chancellor pledged earlier this month that he was “announcing an additional £4.6billion for the hardest hit businesses across the UK”.
A UK government press release then confirmed that “The Scottish Government will receive £375 million…This is on top of the increased funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government”.
The move was welcomed by the Scottish Tories, with Douglas Ross tweeting: “Very welcome news for Scotland – an extra £375m to support businesses affected by lockdown measures.
The SNP must get this extra funding out the door immediately – for many businesses their survival depends on it.
However, the Tory government backtracked and amended its own press release to remove any reference to the extra funding – suggesting that Scotland will in fact receive no additional funding.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Flynn MP said:
“The Tory government’s pledge for extra funding and then subsequent shameful backtracking has left many Scottish businesses in a lurch.
“While the Welsh Secretary has belatedly apologised and admitted that it’s not new money, the silence from the Scottish Tories is deafening.
“Douglas Ross was quick to welcome the supposed extra £375m in support, but after the Treasury backtracked and it became clear that there would be no additional funding, he has gone into hiding.
“Ross and his Tory colleagues must apologise to Scottish businesses who have suffered a devastating blow due to the pandemic and have been misled by the Treasury’s false funding promises.
“The Tory government must then hand over the £375m in extra funding that was promised in black and white without any delay.
“Scotland has been forced to tackle this pandemic with one hand tied behind our back – with the Tories withholding funding and refusing to devolve powers.
“We should not have to wait for Westminster to act.
“It is beyond any doubt that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests and businesses is to become an independent country.”