SNP criticised for allocating £20m to second independence referendum amid cuts

SNP ministers have been criticised for allocating £20 million to a second independence referendum while public services face real terms cuts.

Labour accused the Scottish Government of “wasting” cash while cutting local services “to the bone”.

It came as Finance Secretary Kate Forbes outlined the resource spending review in Holyrood, which sets out the Government's broad spending plans for the next four years.

It covers everything from the NHS to the police and includes £20 million for a referendum in 2023/24.

Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold another vote before the end of next year, but the UK Government is unlikely to agree to this.

Scottish Labour finance spokesman Daniel Johnson said: "Scots are about to be hit by the worst drop in disposal cash since records began but the SNP have nothing to offer except empty rhetoric and the same old spin.

"Fifteen years of failed SNP economic policy have got us to this point, and this dire update promises more of the same.

"They are slashing support for economic development as our economy falls off a cliff and wasting £20 million on a divisive referendum while cutting local services to the bone.

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"Their economic mismanagement has led to Scots' wages growing more slowly than the rest of the UK, making this cost of living crisis all the more painful and draining money from public coffers."

Scottish Conservative MSP Douglas Lumsden called the £20 million “a slap in the face for so many hard-working Scots who are having to pay more and get less”.

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