LEVELLING UP – ALBA REACTION - "This is not levelling up, it's shoring up the Tories and the Union"
ALBA Westminster Leader Neale Hanvey MP and ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP have responded to the announcement today (Thursday) on the allocation of levelling up funds.
In a statement Neale Hanvey, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath said:
“While funding for important projects is always welcome the reality is that this fund is a mere sticking plaster to cover the gaping wound of EU funding that has been lost since Brexit. What this announcement fails to address is the many projects who didn't secure funding or have had to close as EU funds have run out.
“Between 2014-2020 , Scotland was allocated up to €944 million in structural funding from the EU. The money announced today fails to plug the gap in the financial support that Scotland has lost due to Westminster’s decision to drag Scotland out of the EU against the expressed will of the Scottish people.
“Yes funding for Fife is welcome but yards will remain idle when they should be booming with construction work for the renewables sector. That’s why we need Independence so that we can use our massive energy resources to power our economy and heat the homes of our people who are living in fuel poverty.”
Continuing ALBA Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill said:
“Of course those communities that have been crying out for investment will welcome any extra funds but let us be clear this is small beer not a bonanza. Scotland is being fleeced of its massive renewable energy resources, with our energy being transmitted down south, from Torness and Peterhead, and yet we are expected to be grateful when we receive the crumbs from the Master’s table.
“Many good Scottish bids, like Glasgow’s have been unsuccessful whilst London and the South East of England have been granted double the money that Scotland has. How can this scheme be described as levelling up when the most prosperous parts of the UK are being granted the most?
“This scheme is not about levelling up communities but rather about shoring up support in Tory constituencies. This is nothing more than a cynical political exercise by the UK Government to bolster support for the Union by wrapping these funds in the Union Jack.”