Douglas Ross MP (pictured) challenged to back SNP calls for U-turn on Tory broken promise.
The SNP has said the Chancellor must hand over the £375million in extra funding he promised to support businesses in Scotland “without further delay” – after the Tory government tried to renege on its commitment overnight.
Yesterday, the Chancellor pledged “Today, I’m announcing an additional £4.6billion for the hardest hit businesses across the UK”.
A UK government press release then confirmed this would provide an additional £375million in funding for the Scottish Government to support businesses in Scotland, stating “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 Scottish Tories welcomed what they said was “extra” funding for Scotland and demanded it be distributed “immediately”.
Douglas Ross MP claimed the survival of many businesses depended on receiving the additional funding immediately, 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 UK government has subsequently backtracked on its commitments to businesses, and suggested Scotland would receive no additional funding at all – altering their own press release overnight to remove references to the extra funding.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Chancellor must urgently hand over the £375million in additional funding he promised the Scottish Government to support businesses through the lockdown.
“It would be completely unacceptable for the Tories to take this vital lifeline away from businesses in Scotland.
“The SNP has been calling for more support for businesses for months.
“It beggars’ belief that having finally announced this long-overdue extra funding the UK government is already breaking its word – and failing to provide a single penny in additional funds.
“Businesses must not be left without support because the UK government refused to provide the funding required.
“If Douglas Ross is to salvage any credibility from this Tory shambles he must immediately get behind SNP calls for the extra £375million to be delivered without further delay.
“He cannot claim this additional funding is vital for the survival of businesses one day – and then go into hiding the next when his Tory government fails to deliver.
“Throughout the pandemic the UK government has withheld crucial investment and blocked the devolution of financial powers – leaving Scotland to tackle this crisis with one hand tied behind our backs.
“Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is to become an independent country – with the full powers needed to take our own decisions.”