Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has accused the SNP of a “knee-jerk reaction” to UK Government plans for investment in Scotland.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Levelling Up Fund will see Scotland receive at least £432million of investment in capital projects, but nationalist politicians have criticised it because the money will not have to go through the Scottish Government in Edinburgh.
Mr Halcro Johnston welcomed the significant funding boost, but criticised SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford for his “predictably” negative response to the plans.
Mr Halcro Johnston said “The Levelling Up Fund is great news for Scotland and for communities across our country and across the Highlands and Islands. Too often, vital UK Government funding has been delayed from getting to those businesses and individuals that need it most because it has been syphoned off to sit in SNP government coffers in Edinburgh."
“It is remarkable - albeit, tiresomely predictable - that, instead of welcoming money and investment coming to Scotland and our region, SNP politicians like Ian Blackford appear resentful that our constituents should benefit from resources coming directly from the UK Government. For an investment banker, Ian Blackford seems to have an extraordinary fear of investment."
“Instead of criticising Rishi Sunak and the UK Treasury, Ian Blackford should be asking why his SNP colleague Kate Forbes, who holds the Scottish Government’s purse strings, has been so slow in providing financial support for local businesses here and across the Highlands and Islands."
“Given the real cash flow issues many face, why should local businesses have to wait so long for much-needed financial supported to be routed via the Scottish Government in Edinburgh when they could receive it directly from source? Our tourism and hospitality sector – worth £1 billion to the regional economy – has been dealt a terrible blow by the pandemic, but many businesses are still waiting for some of the SNP’s support schemes to actually open or get money into bank accounts."
“Businesses don’t care where the money comes from. They just want to make sure they get it before they’re forced to close their doors or cut jobs.”
Blackford’s pathetic comments are here: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/budget-2021-snp-warns-no-boris-veto-on-scottish-independence-in-power-grab-claim-3153326