Labour calls for action

Baillie demands answers on £250m ‘unspent’ support

Jackie Baillie

Jackie Baillie: ‘outrage’ (pic: Terry Murden)

The Scottish Government must deliver over £250m worth of unallocated business grants to businesses that have missed out on financial support, says Scottish Labour.

Government figures reveal that, for the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme, some £252m remains unallocated to businesses and 15,840 applications have not yet received grant funding.

Labour is calling on the Government to deliver the funds to businesses or else hand the excess funds over to cash-strapped local authorities.

Deputy leader and finance spokesperson Jackie Baillie described the underspend as an “outrage”.

She said: “Small businesses and the hospitality sector need this funding as a matter of urgency. If we are to avoid a tidal wave of unemployment and business closures it is vital that the Scottish Government delivers financial support for Scotland’s businesses.”

The government has previously said that some of the unallocated funding is due to applicants not qualifying for support.

UPDATE 15 SEPT: Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, said she was “unaware” of the figure. The Scottish Government issued a statement dismissing Labour’s claims.

A spokesman said: “This claim is not true, all business consequentials have been allocated to a range of activities to support the Scottish economy.”

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