On Wednesday, Kenneth asked the First Minister whether she agreed that the UK Tory Chancellor should pay out the £60 million in Barnett consequentials promised on 02 May to assist businesses, in addition to a previously pledged £10 million for charities, now, following concerns that the UK will U-turn on that promise. He first asked whether the Scottish Government has had any discussions with the Treasury regarding Project Birch, the plan to assist struggling companies of strategic importance. To this, the First Minister indicated that the Scottish Government has not yet been involved in specific discussions with the Treasury on Project Birch, although it will seek to be in the days to come. With regard to the ‘missing’ £70 million, the First Minister agreed with Kenneth, saying: “It is really important that every penny of consequentials that has been promised and committed actually materialises, because we have rightly been challenged by members across the Chamber to give a commitment to pass on every penny of consequentials to businesses and other interests. “We have done that and it would therefore be a serious concern if all of that money does not materialise. I would absolutely say to the Treasury that it should please make good on those commitments so that we can make good on our commitments that we have made to businesses and others across Scotland.” She furthermore alluded to the importance of “those companies that make a critical contribution to the Scottish economy and to parts of Scotland such as Ayrshire” and referred to the need for the UK Government to work constructively with the Scottish Government to support them. To view Kenneth’s questions and the First Minister’s answers in full, simply click on the video.
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