Omicron funding

Sturgeon and Sunak clash over business cash support

Cash clash: Nicola Sturgeon and Rishi Sunak

Tensions are rising between Holyrood and the Treasury over support for businesses hit by tighter pandemic restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused Treasury of short-changing Scotland and merely bringing forward funding already promised.

She said he £220 million handed to Holyrood out of a £430m pot for the devolved nations was due in January and had already been allocated.

The First Minister said it was also £48 million short of what her government was expecting in the new year.

She said on Twitter: “As feared, this is not ‘additional’ money – it is being brought forward from money we were expecting in January and had already budgeted for.

“But it’s actually more concerning than than that… the net effect of yesterday’s Treasury announcement appears to be that [the Scottish Government] is £48m worse off than we thought we were before the announcement.

“The total we were expecting in January was £268m…we have just been told the actual amount is £220m.”

A UK Government source responded: “This is utter nonsense. The Scottish Government is getting an extra £220 million to tackle Covid.

“The Scottish Government will get all the money it is due and the matter is being constantly evaluated.

“We have had intensive talks with the Scottish Government about the money and we are determined to work constructively with them to tackle the pandemic.

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