SNP MSPs on Holyrood’s Economy Committee have today branded the UK Government’s treatment of the committee “disgraceful”, after it refused to provide information to the committee that was later released to the media.
In a letter on the 26th May 2020, The Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee asked the Chief Secretary to the Treasury “to provide regular written updates with Scotland-specific data on the UK Government economic response to COVID19, including: the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.”
The Treasury responded claiming “the UK government is accountable to the UK Parliament so need to proceed with this in mind.
“As such I do not intend to provide evidence to each of the devolved legislatures”.
Less than a week later, the UK Government released the information to media.
The SNP has said this shows “a complete lack of respect for devolution.”
Commenting, Gordon MacDonald MSP (pictured) said:
“The UK Government’s point-blank refusal to cooperate with the Scottish Parliament to release vital economic data on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is disgraceful.
“The committee has not asked for anything unreasonable and the UK Government clearly have the information we requested – as they are more than happy to provide it to the press.
“At a time when the Scottish Parliament’s committees are undertaking vital work to assess, scrutinise and respond to the global pandemic, this shows a complete lack of respect for the vital work of the devolved parliaments.
“The Tories should rethink their priorities, starting by working with the Scottish Parliament instead of being focused on their own media coverage.”