Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SNP minister claims extra cash for Scotland is an ‘assault on devolution’

Scotland devolution cash
Trade Minister Ivan McKee.

Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” plan could see Aberdeen, Dundee and the Highlands handed millions of pounds in extra cash.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed details of two new schemes, the community renewal fund (CRF) and the levelling up fund, at Wednesday’s Budget that promised to “support high street regeneration, local transport and heritage assets”.

Local authority areas have been ranked in tiers according to need and will be invited to bid for a share of more than £1 billion from the funds.

According to the Treasury, where appropriate, the UK Government will seek “advice” from the devolved administrations on bids – but ultimately projects will be decided upon by local councils, MPs and Westminster, angering the SNP.

Scottish trade minister Ivan McKee, appearing before MPs on Thursday, hit out at the lack of consolations over the funds and methodology in deciding areas most in need.

‘Quite embarrassing’

He said: “We’ve been rebuffed and ignored by the UK Government at every turn, which is hugely disappointing despite various efforts to engage in a grown up way.

“Of the conversations we have had, one with the Scotland Office was, frankly, quite embarrassing because they knew less about what was happening than we did.”

In fiery appearance before the Scottish Affairs committee, he said the funds were “clearly part of an assault on devolution”

He said: “The UK Government has now clearly set its stall out as wanting to engage, operate, act and take control of many aspects that are devolved.

“It really talks to an agenda that’s challenging the very premise of devolution.”

Pressed on whether he believed there was a “concerted attempt to bypass the Scottish Government”, he said: “The answer is yes, very clearly yes. I don’t think there’s any secret about that.”

Mr McKee also questioned the methodology behind the funding, saying the tier system “talks to a lack of understanding about Scotland”.

Douglas Ross.

Governments can ‘work together’

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross later clashed with Mr McKee, telling the minister Scots wanted to see both the UK Government and Scottish Government working together.

“Far from damaging devolution, this shows that our two governments can both work together,” he said.

Mr McKee branded that point “ridiculous”, adding: “Of course, communities want to see the benefit of those funds and want to see governments working together and we’re very happy to do that.

“But we’ve also got to recognise there is a devolution settlement, which does specify what is reserved and what is devolved, and it’s a clear political act by the UK Government to cut across that.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from The Courier UK politics team

More from The Courier