UK’s £10bn Coronavirus support for Scotland shows 'value of the union' say Tories

Scotland has received more than £10 billion of UK Government cash to battle Coronavirus, showing the value of the union, the Scottish Tories have said.

The Tories say the level of financial assistanxce is 'unprecedented'
The Tories say the level of financial assistanxce is 'unprecedented'

But the SNP have hit out at the move to “politicise” the pandemic.Almost half of the funding has been delivered through the Treasury’s Job Retention Scheme, with a further £3.5 billion coming from so-called Barnett consequentials which sees the Scottish Government given cash to make up for England-only spending.The the bulk of the emergency cash to fight the impact of the virus in Scotland has come from Westminster, the Tories say.Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Donald Cameron said: “The level of financial support from the UK Government is astonishing and unprecedented.“It proves how valuable this union of four nations is, and how we pull together in times of crisis.“It also puts firmly to bed any suggestion that Westminster doesn’t care about Scotland – this shows 10 billion reasons very much to the contrary.“This money isn’t just being used to arm the health and care services with what they need to fight coronavirus.“It’s safeguarding hundreds of thousands of jobs, making sure our economy can return to strength, and protecting the most vulnerable in society.”The job retention scheme has led to spending of £4.8 billion in Scotland to safeguard of hundreds of thousands of jobs.Nearly £700 million has been invested in supporting the self-employed, and loans schemes have provided around £1.3 billion in cash for Scottish firms.And help has also arrived through uplifts in Universal Credit (£119 million), statutory sick pay support (£77 million) and working tax credit uplifts (£28.6 million).Nationalist MSP Tom Arthur said: “It’s quite incredible that the Tories keep trying to politicise a pandemic that has led to the loss of thousands of lives across the UK and will cause the largest recession in living memory.“Instead of boasting about the amount of money which has been spent, the Tories should spend some time trying to persuade their Westminster bosses to guarantee jobs and businesses in Scotland will be protected if lockdown has to continue longer here than elsewhere in the UK.“Anything short of that guarantee makes a mockery of claims that Westminster always acts in Scotland’s best interests – and as the First Minister said today, most people would think it’s unacceptable if Scotland was hampered in fighting a deadly pandemic and taking whatever action is needed to suppress the virus.”

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