Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has hit out at the UK government after Tory Ministers unveiled a £1.6billion ‘Stronger Towns’ fund with no details of additional funding for Scotland.
Ahead of key Brexit votes next week, the Prime Minister announced that a large chunk of the £1.6billion fund would be allocated to leave-voting areas in England – with no clarity over any extra funding for towns in Scotland.
The move is widely seen as a desperate attempt by the Prime Minister to win support for the Tories’ botched Brexit deal from Labour MPs representing leave-supporting constituencies in England.
Speaking in parliament, local SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said it was concerning that the UK government had failed to provide figures on what share of the fund would be allocated to Scotland and Wales.
It comes following controversy over an extra £140million given to Northern Ireland by the UK government outside of the block grant, described by the SNP as yet another ‘cynical bribe’ by the PM to win the support of DUP MPs.
In the wake of the 2017 UK General Election, the Prime Minister was forced to agree a £1billion deal with the DUP to prop-up the UK government after the Tories lost their majority in the House of Commons.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“The UK government has serious questions to answer over this cynical £1.6bn Brexit bung.
“The timing of the announcement, just a week before key Brexit votes in parliament, is clearly a desperate attempt to win support for the Prime Minister’s botched Brexit deal – a deal which would be damaging for jobs, living standards and the economy.
“I do not begrudge any areas getting additional investment, especially after a decade of Westminster austerity. But Scotland must be given its fair share and not lose out again like we did in the Tories’ last £1bn bung to the DUP.
“This is crucial money that could be spent on our public services, but it appears we’re once again being sold short by a Westminster government which is failing our communities.
“The people of Scotland and West Dunbartonshire deserve so much better than this. It is clearer by the day that the only way to protect our interests is with independence.”