The SNP has been accused of “patting themselves on the back for an imaginary fund full of empty promises”, which is supposed to help 10,000 oil and gas workers into renewable energy jobs.
North East Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr submitted eight questions to the Scottish Government seeking details of the £500 million Just Transition Deal, announced to a fanfare last month.
But he got the same holding answer in response every time.
The Scottish Government appeared unable to say how the funds will be distributed, or how interested parties could apply.
The money is earmarked to help the country’s fossil fuel-reliant industries move toward “net-zero” emissions as part of the drive to tackle climate change.
How will the scheme help workers?
Mr Kerr asked how the money would be distributed, to whom, where the money will be drawn from, the projected targets for the fund and how long it will take to hand out.
To each question, SNP government minister Richard Lochhead responded: “We will work collaboratively with partners, communities and other stakeholders to take forward the ten-year £500m Just Transition Fund for the North East and Moray.
“The delivery of the fund will exemplify our co-design and co-delivery approach that will be supported by a programme of broad engagement in the area.”
He added: “This fund is a new commitment which will require detailed policy design work and implementation planning. We will provide further information on the process in due course.
“The Just Transition Fund will support and accelerate energy transition, create good, green jobs and maximise the region’s future economic potential.
“We are determined to tackle climate emergency and mitigate the impacts of the transition on communities across Scotland, and we will work at pace to deliver our sectoral plans for a just transition.”
Mr Kerr said the Scottish Government was attempting to “pull the wool over the eyes” of voters in the north-east.
He said: “The SNP-Green coalition have given themselves a pat on the back for announcing an imaginary fund that is full of empty promises.
“It’s clear that absolutely no planning has gone into this and is currently just all talk with no substance.
“This coalition of chaos wants to turn its back on the oil and gas industry and the 100,000 jobs that our North Sea sector supports.”
He added: “They are failing to come up with any stable solutions while attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of thousands of north-east workers.
“The Scottish Conservatives believe that our oil and gas industry has a crucial role to play in our journey to net zero.
“Announcing a fund with no details of specific allocations highlights the SNP-Green Government’s one-dimensional view on our path to net zero.”