SNP asks Tories to say which firms ‘should lose out’

Jackson Carlaw complained that moves taken by the UK Government were not being mimicked north of the border.

The SNP has called on the Scottish Conservatives to outline which businesses should lose money after receiving criticism over its Covid-19 support measures.

Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Tory leader, complained that moves taken by the UK Government were not being mimicked north of the border, saying smaller firms have found they can claim less.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced emergency measures which would provide grants of up to £25,000 for every property operated by a business in England and Wales.

However, in Scotland the package is only available per firm – not premises.

But the SNP has now claimed copying this approach would mean “hundreds of businesses” in Scotland would lose out on a £10,000 grant and tailored schemes for seafood and fishing sectors and aviation.

George Adam MSP said: “Businesses are under enormous pressure because of coronavirus, and it’s essential that we support as many firms through this crisis as possible.

“The Scottish Government is passing on every penny to business that we receive as a consequence of the UK Government schemes.

“But if Scotland simply copied the system in England it would mean hundreds of firms, and specific industries important to the Scottish economy, would lose out.

“Unlike the UK Government, the Scottish Government cannot simply borrow more money to fund these schemes.

“If Jackson Carlaw wants to increase the funding to some businesses, he needs to spell out what other firms he thinks should lose out – otherwise this is simply a rash and thoughtless attack on vital funding.

“The hundreds of businesses receiving lifeline support from the Scottish Government will not thank the Tories for playing politics with their livelihoods.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “The only people with explaining to do are the SNP.

“Their inadequate package is selling small businesses short and will drive many to the wall.”

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