Treasury support u-turn

Forbes demands answers on cancelled £60m fund

Kate Forbes new

Kate Forbes: ‘deeply problematic’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has demanded the UK Government explain why it has suddenly cancelled a £60 million business support package which she says has already been spent.

On 2 May UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced a £617m package of measures to help companies that are not directly paying business rates, such as those operating in shared spaces.

It said this would generate £60m of consequentials under the Barnett Formula.

Following pressure from business groups and the Scottish Tories to match Mr Sharma’s pledge, Ms Forbes committed to spending the money.

However, she has now been told this additional funding is no longer available, increasing the pressure on the Scottish budget. Holyrood must work to a fixed budget rather than borrow, and is therefore reliant on Westminster funding.

Additionally, £35m of consequentials was earmarked to the Scottish Government in respect of a charity support direct grant, but this was also cut by the Treasury – to £25m.

The withdrawal of previously agreed support comes amid growing concern at Holyrood that the cost of dealing with Covid-19 is significantly higher than the funding provided by the UK Government.

One Comment to Forbes demands answers on cancelled £60m fund

  1. Reeks of just another subordination of our nation to England and the worstminster colonialists. Take a stand forgodsake, people will back you.

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