Swinney and Wishart Comment on Tay Cities Deal
Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, and Perth and North Perthshire MP, Mr Pete Wishart, have today expressed disappointment over the final funding levels for the Tay Cities Deal.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond MP, confirmed in today’s Budget that the UK Government would commit £150m to the Tay Cities Deal – significantly less than the £200m pledged last week by the Scottish Government. It also means that, unlike city deals for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling, there will not be a 50:50 funding commitment between the two administrations.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“Whilst news of investment is welcome news, there will be a significant sense of disappointment across Perthshire at the scaling back of the Tay Cities Deal. I am deeply concerned that the UK Government’s refusal to properly invest in the region will lead to a downgrading of the ambition, scope and effectiveness of this deal.
“The Chancellor’s announcement confirms what we have always known: that when it comes to investing in the people of Perthshire, the Tories talk a good game until it comes time to reach into their pockets.
“By contrast, the Scottish Government’s promise to invest £200m – and match any UK Government funding above that level – is a clear sign of our commitment to Perthshire and the entire region. The difference between a penny-pinching Tory Government and a bold, assertive SNP Government could not be clearer.”
Mr Wishart added:
“The Chancellor’s announcement regarding the Tay Cities Deal will be a source of frustration for those across Perthshire and beyond.
“This deal had the potential to radically transform the region for the better – creating tens of thousands of new jobs, investing in communities and establishing Tayside as a hotbed of culture. I am worried that the UK Government’s decision to commit only £150m to this deal represents a very real missed opportunity, and does not provide the level of investment necessary to affect profound change across the region.
“After all the delay and prevarication, the UK Government’s final commitment is deeply underwhelming, and only serves to further underscore their poor track record of investing in the region.”
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