SNP criticised for 'eye-watering' £1.2m car company spend

Scottish Labour has criticised the SNP for an “eye-watering” bill of more than £1.2m on cars and vehicle costs in just a year.

The SNP has been accused of 'eye-watering' spending on car costs.

Figures obtained by the party show that £1,211,084 was spent by the Scottish Government on “unspecified vehicle costs” between February 2019 and March 2020.

That is the equivalent of nearly £100,000 per month on vehicle costs, with Scottish Labour’s finance spokesperson Daniel Johnson calling for answers into the spending.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Mr Johnson said: “This is an eye-watering amount of money paid to car companies in such a short space of time – we need answers from the government over how and why every penny was spent.”

The figures also include nearly £100,000 (£96,480) paid to Tesla, owned by multi-millionaire Elon Musk and a company specialising in high-end electric cars.

The spending shows a further £50,000 to Toyota.

Mr Johnson added: “To fritter nearly £100,000 on Tesla while thousands of Scots are struggling to make ends meet is a slap in the face to the people of Scotland.

“Of course, the government needs to spend money on vehicle costs, but the amount of money paid in such a short time does not just raise eyebrows, it raises alarm.

“We need answers from the government over this eye-watering wastage of public money, and we need them now.”

Much of the spending was on “vehicle additions”, the figures show, with £26,000 spent three times on new cars for the Scottish Government in February 2019.

Other than Tesla, car dealership The Colt Car Company, owned by Mitsubishi, received almost half a million from Scottish Government funds for ‘vehicle additions’.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to phasing out petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025 and replacing fossil-fuelled vehicles with plug-in or fully electric vehicles where appropriate.

"This is demonstrated by our increased investment in ultra-low emitting electric vehicles, which now make up 51 per cent of the overall current fleet (and 100 per cent of the current Government Car Service fleet).”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.