Ministers taken to task over flood cash delay

Scottish Government Ministers have been urged to “stop dragging their feet” on flooding and outline how they will spend £5million of relief money the UK Government provided almost a fortnight ago.

At First Minister’s Questions today (Thursday), Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said people and businesses in the areas like the Scottish Borders were still waiting for Scottish Government action.

On December 29, the UK Government announced an additional £50million of funding, which provided Ministers in Scotland with £5million thanks to the Barnett Formula. This was in addition to the £4million in extra funding announced on December 16.

But today in the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was still unable to say how this money would be spent.

Following the exchange, Local MSP John Lamont has said that some residents, businesses and farmers in the Scottish Borders are still waiting for cash support and that this extra funding should be handed out immediately.

“It took the Scottish Government a week to confirm it would spend the first batch of extra money for flooding,” said Mr Lamont. “Now they have dragged their feet for almost two weeks on a further £5 illion which has been made available as a result of extra UK Government spending.

“The First Minister doesn’t seem to have a plan on how this extra money should be used to help.

“Businesses, residents and farmers in the Borders want to know how they are going to be supported as the clean-up goes on.

“I am also bemused by claims from the Scottish Government that Scottish Borders Council already has enough money for Hawick’s flood defences. The Scottish Government needs to make this extra money available immediately and must accelerate plans for a flood prevention plan.”