The Scottish Minister of Finance said that the £ 375 million announced by the UK government to cushion the lockdown is not new money.
After a lockdown was declared this week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed plans for an additional 4.6 billion pounds to fund companies in England. As a consequence, the Treasury said an allowance of 375 million pounds will be obtained by Scotland.
But Kate Forbes, Minister of Finance of the Scottish government, said she was “both surprised and disappointed” that the funding was not new, and indicated that the 375 million pounds would be part of the money Westminster had already announced.
The Scottish government claims the funding has already been pledged to the devolved governments by Westminster – this fiscal year it is projected to total £ 8.6 billion for Scotland.
Funding ‘not enough’ by Rishi Sunak to save Scottish companies
Ms. Forbes said, “We are both surprised and disappointed that the announcement by the UK government of additional funding for businesses in England will not generate further new funding for the Scottish government or other devolved administrations, despite initial indications.”
This is a blow to Scottish companies whose hopes have been increased by the announcement, and I will write to the chancellor,”This is a blow to Scottish businesses whose expectations were raised by the announcement, and I will be writing to the chancellor to raise the issue,”to raise the issue.
We fully recognize that the tough new constraints currently in place, while necessary to slow the spread of the virus, are an additional blow to companies.
“That’s why we’ve allocated £570 million to support businesses since October, and that amount will increase due to the number of new businesses eligible for support under the latest restrictions.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils an assistance package of £ 4.6 billion to help British companies cope with the recent lockdown
“In the morning the UK government says new funding will come to Scotland and at lunchtime the Treasury has told the Scottish Government there is nothing new for Scottish businesses. You can’t treat Scottish businesses like that.”The UK government says fresh funding will come to Scotland in the morning and the Treasury told the Scottish Government at lunchtime that there is nothing new for Scottish companies. You can’t treat Scottish companies like that.
The finance minister of the Welsh government, Rebecca Evans, has also warned that the allocation of 34.6 billion “is part of our existing Covid funding guarantee and does not represent new money.” to the devolved administration.
On Tuesday morning, a press release sent out said the funds were “in addition to the increased funding already guaranteed by the UK government.”
A article about the U.K., however. The government’s website said it would be “a contribution to the U.K. government’s already guaranteed funding.”
The move was dubbed “an embarrassing U-turn” by Scottish Labour Party finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie.
She added: “It’s time for the UK government to deliver on its original statement and provide the extra funding for the devolved nations and regions on top of the UK-wide funding package.”
Scottish Minister Alister Jack said, “As during the crisis, keeping people safe and promoting jobs in all parts of the UK remains the priority of the UK government.”
“Further funding for companies in England has been announced by the Chancellor. We hope that some of the £8.6 billion we have made available to help struggling Scottish companies will be used by the Scottish government in a similar way.
He added: “In addition to direct support from the UK Government for people and businesses in Scotland, this includes our exemption scheme, which is now extended until the end of April, self-employed support, business loans, and the procurement and payment of millions of Pfizer and Oxford vaccine doses.”
“The strength of the Union and the support of the UK Treasury has never been more important.”