UK

Scottish Gov’t Slammed for ‘Pouring Money Down the Drain’ Over ‘Divisive’ Independence Referendum

Earlier, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives accused the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) of being “out of touch” with ordinary Scots after its national executive committee allocated £600,000 for a second independence referendum.

Opposition politicians in Scotland have vehemently opposed what they perceive as looming measures that will invariably waste taxpayers’ money, particularly stemming from demands for another independence vote by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).

As MSPs debated the Scottish Government’s draft tax and spending plans for the coming year on Thursday, Neil Findlay urged the SNP-led Government to wake up to the needs of the poor and hungry.

​Accusing the government of intentionally overlooking the poor as less likely to vote, he denounced a lack of “political will” to take the actions the challenging current pandemic-generated situation required.

“I have no doubt that the cabinet secretary will trot out her well-rehearsed lines about where the money will come from if we want to do other things. The Government pours money down the drain as if there is no tomorrow,” said the Scottish Labour MSP.

Findlay proceeded to enumerate various lacklustre, in his opinion, projects that taxpayers’ money was spent on, such as the £100 million to pay for delayed ferries as well as pointless legal fees and expenses.

Scottish Budget

The Scottish draft budget for 2021-22, unveiled by Finance secretary Kate Forbes and the minority SNP administration in January and promising a record funding of £16 billion for the NHS in Scotland, needs support of at least one other party to pass.

“The budget delivers £1.1 billion for jobs and skills, record spending for health services, £11.6bn for local government plus a further £259 million of non-recurring coronavirus (COVID-19) funding, and new resources to tackle climate change,” Forbes was quoted by The National as saying.

She also warned that “further changes may be required once our funding position clarifies following next week’s UK Budget,” as Chancellor Rishi Sunak gears up to deliver the Spring Budget on 3 March.

However, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser insisted this was not a Budget his party could support, as it “falls short of what the Scottish people and Scottish society requires.”

Fraser added that Tories urged increased funding for councils “at least” in line with the amounts funneled into the Scottish Government.

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