Budget
Budget

Almost half a billion pounds of business support funding allocated to the Scottish Government is still unallocated, new figures show today.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie has called on SNP ministers to “stand up for Scotland” and lift the 75 per cent cap on grants for small chains.

Since the scheme was first launched, Scottish Labour has campaigned for businesses in Scotland to receive the same funding entitlement as those south of the border, to ensure they are not put at a competitive disadvantage. The SNP U-turned on its initial policy that small chains with more than one premises would only receive one grant, but subsequent grants are still capped at 75 per cent.

When Ms Baillie raised the issue in Parliament on Tuesday, SNP Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said Ms Baillie “may have misinterpreted the amount that is available”.

But summer budget revisions announced yesterday show that the unallocated funding available has now risen from the £449 billion referenced by Ms Baillie on Tuesday to £476 million. She went on to argue that it was “important to support those companies that have yet to receive anything, rather than those that have already received funding”.

Scottish Labour deputy leader and finance spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “The SNP government keeps defending its unfair funding cap on the basis that there’s not enough money in the pot, but these excuses just won’t wash. Week after week, the statistics show that vast sums of money – almost half a billion pounds – have been left unallocated by SNP ministers.

“Either Fiona Hyslop has misinterpreted the amount of funding available, or she has misled Parliament.

“It’s time that the SNP puts its money where its mouth is, stands up for Scotland, lifts the cap and stops putting Scottish businesses at a competitive disadvantage.”

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