Rishi Sunak has been accused of undermining devolution, after unveiling proposals to bypass the Scottish Government on certain spending decisions.
The Chancellor confirmed there are plans for Westminster to spend directly in Scotland through a new “levelling up fund” and a shared prosperity fund from next year.
Usually the Treasury allocate cash to the Scottish Government through the Barnett formula and block grant and it is for Scottish ministers to decide where spending priorities lie.
However, under Mr Sunak’s scheme local councils, businesses, community groups and MPs will be able to approach the Treasury direct for cash.
‘Unleash the potential of the Union’
Aberdeen South SNP MP Stephen Flynn scoffed at suggestions from the Treasury the fund would “unleash the potential of the Union”.
He said: “If the Tories actually respected devolution then this money would be flowing to our democratically elected Scottish Parliament – not apparently decided upon by a UK Government we neither voted for nor support.
“The UK Government can continue to try to control spending in Scotland but the more they trample on the Scottish Parliament, the more the people of Scotland will continue to turn against them.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement, however, saying: “The UK Government pledged to bring funding decisions back from Brussels, and our plans for a new UK shared prosperity fund will deliver on this promise.
“Communities across the UK have been hit hard by Covid, so I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today of £220 million in additional funding in the coming financial year.
“This will be delivered by the UK Government across the UK, working in partnership with local authorities and communities.”