Shadow Finance Secretary Donald Cameron has expressed dismay after Finance Secretary Kate Forbes dismissed concerns over when the Scottish Government will deliver £155 million of extra cash from the UK Government direct to local authorities.
Mr Cameron said: “To suggest, as the Finance Secretary did yesterday, that this is matter is merely a "storm in a teacup" shows a massive failure of judgement on her part."
“It also betrays a stubborn refusal to listen to calls from councils across Scotland for the immediate transfer of the £155 million which is being provided in recognition of the huge pressures being placed on them."
“In my own region of the Highlands and Islands, our councils have seen their reserves whittled away by years of unfair treatment from Holyrood, and now they are faced with the extra costs of the coronavirus pandemic."
“Our local councils are at the forefront of delivering vital services to the most vulnerable people and the SNP Government needs to hand the money over without further delay.”
The dismissive and condescending attitude of Forbes is instructive: the SNP knows best and anyone who questions that "truth" is immediately rubbished by SNP ministers.
The SNP is holding onto the UK Government-provided money for political self-interest and no other reason. Forbes is quite clearly not up to the job and Sturgeon either has to countermand her floundering finance secretary, or take the blame for putting the entire basis of local government service delivery under threat.
As Donald points out, Highland has been subject to over a decade of funding cuts and erosion of reserves at the hands of the SNP, and we, the people affected by the long litany of SNP failures, cannot put up with this any longer.