finance

SNP accused of not allocating £1 billion meant for Covid-19 recovery



Scottish ministers have been accused of failing to allocate funds designated for the Covid-19 national recovery.

Analysis by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has shown that around £1bn of Barnett Consequentials are yet to be allocated by the Scottish Government, including £700m from UK Government health and social care expenditure.

Scottish Labour finance spokesperson Daniel Johnson said the cash should be used to guarantee a £12 an hour wage for social care staff.

The opposition party called for a maximum of £420m of the £700m earmarked for health and social care to be devoted to delivering a £12 an hour pay rise for social care staff and for the remainder to be used to help re-mobilise the NHS and restart cancer services.

It added that the remaining £300m should be put to use to stimulate the high street to protect jobs and businesses and drive up economic growth.

Johnson said: “We simply cannot afford to have £1bn sitting unspent – we are staring down the barrel at a looming jobs crisis and our NHS is in desperate need of re-mobilisation.

“That’s why every penny of this £1bn must be used to deliver fair pay for care workers, help re-mobilise our NHS and stimulate our high street.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have committed every penny of these consequentials to our pandemic response, notably to support Scotland’s businesses and their recovery, NHS, other public services and the rollout of vaccines.”

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