More than £3 billion wasted due to SNP 'incompetence', says Labour

More than £3 billion has been wasted due to SNP "incompetence", Anas Sarwar has said.

The Scottish Labour leader accused the Scottish Government of a litany of failures including the CalMac ferries fiasco and mismanagement of the health service.

He said "every penny wasted" could have been more cash for the NHS, schools and measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Sarwar said the total was the equivalent of a £1,200 bill for every household in Scotland.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the figures as "a lot of nonsense".

Mr Sarwar said: “The list is endless – from £152 million on a failed ferry contract at Fergusons to the £146 million spent fixing this government’s mistakes at the Edinburgh Sick Kids and the Queen Elizabeth [University Hospital] in Glasgow.

“They’ve spent £40 million and rising on the malicious prosecution of Rangers and almost £200 million on failed industrial interventions and loan write offs.

“They’ve wasted nearly a billion pounds on agency workers in the health service because Nicola Sturgeon cut training places when she was Health Secretary, and over a billion pounds on delayed discharge because of their failure to fix the social care crisis.

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“£3 billion - that is the equivalent of a £1,200 bill for every household in Scotland.

“Every penny of this wasted money could have been more cash for our NHS, more cash for our schools or more cash to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“Rather than helping people with the cost of living crisis, this government is instead making them pay the cost of SNP failure.”

Responding to the claims at First Minister's Questions, Ms Sturgeon labelled them "ridiculous".

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She said the prosecution of Rangers was a matter for the "independent Crown Office", adding: "Is Anas Sarwar seriously saying that I, as First Minister, or any minister of this government, should have interfered in the independent prosecution decisions of the Crown Office?"

Ms Sturgeon also said the "vast majority" of the £146 million figure for hospitals "relates to planned costs which were in no way new, unexpected or avoidable".

She accused Mr Sarwar of “spin” and “sound bites”.

The First Minister also pointed to measures the Scottish Government is taking to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, such as doubling the Scottish Child Payment.

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