The UK government has been accused of backtracking on its pledge to ‘Barnetise’ millions of pounds in funding through its Stronger Towns Fund – in a move which would short-change Scotland and threaten the foundations of devolution.
In an exchange in the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government twice refused to confirm the UK government’s pledge to give the Scottish Government the money that it is owed through the scheme.
In the last Parliament, the previous Tory minister stated that “we will confirm the additional funding we will provide to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reflect this new funding for England.”
However, the Scottish Government has still received no confirmation from the UK government over the funding.
Previously, the Treasury warned it would bypass the Barnett Formula and side-line the Scottish Parliament entirely by taking steps to allow councils to bid directly with Whitehall.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Spokesperson for Housing, Communities and Local Government David Linden MP (pictured) said:
“Despite all the rhetoric and fanfare from the Tory government and Scottish Tory MPs over the millions of pounds that would be due to the Scottish Government through the UK’s Stronger Towns Fund, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is lining up to be yet another broken Tory promise.
“Rather than confirming that Scotland would receive the money it is due through the Barnett Formula, the Tory Minister instead appeared to backtrack from the UK government’s commitments – a move which would short-change Scotland and undermine the foundations of devolution.
“Time and time again, the Tories have sought to bypass the Scottish Parliament over funding due and spending controls – hitting Scotland’s economy and budget.
“Control over the Scottish Parliament’s spending decisions must be made in Holyrood – not dictated by a reckless Tory government in Westminster that is acting against Scotland’s interests.
“The Prime Minister must now confirm that Scotland will receive the full money it is due through the Stronger Towns Fund that the UK government previously pledged.”