The SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford has called on Boris Johnson to to confirm is there money “to support businesses” and accused the Prime Minister of “smoke and mirrors.”
Blackford told MPs in the Commons that Johnson is “a prime minister who can’t do what is needed to protect the public is no prime minister at all,” as he raised the Tory backbench rebellion over fresh restrictions.
Blackford told the Prime Minister that more assistance is required to help businesses and people as the Omicron wave is approaching.
Johnson said in response, “We will of course continue with the discussions with the Scottish administration.”
Blackford blasted, “The public understands the threat that Omicron poses to all our people and to our NHS, (but) we saw from last night’s vote, the Tories might be privileged enough to live in denial about this danger, but the rest of us have the responsibility to live in the real world.
“That means increasing public health measures and increasing financial support for businesses and workers.
“The Scottish Government is delivering £100m from our fixed budget to support businesses but we all know that more is needed.
“Yesterday the UK Government put out a press release saying that new financial support was coming, but last night the Treasury U-turned saying no new money was available.
“So Prime Minister, which is it, is there any new money to support businesses or was it all just smoke and mirrors once again?”
Johnson replied with, “I think it’s important that we continue to work with the Scottish administration as we do to help everybody through it.
“There is more money, as he knows, through Barnett consequentials, there are also further powers under the existing devolutionary settlement for the Scottish administration to raise money if it chooses to, they have that option.
“But we will of course continue with the discussions with the Scottish administration.”
The SNP Westminster leader said, “Dodgy dealings on renovations and his distant relationship with the truth, all of it has left him weak. Last night, this UK Government struggled to get measures through this House that Scotland has had for months.
“A prime minister who can’t do what is needed to protect the public is no prime minister at all.
“Nobody wants further restrictions but Scotland can’t afford to be hamstrung if the Prime Minister can’t act because he’s got 99 problems behind him.
“So will he give the devolved governments the powers and financial support that we need to protect our people?”
Johnson said, “There are the powers, the Scottish administration has the powers, but what we’ve also done is a record settlement for Scotland, £41bn, but in all friendship with (him) who I’m actually quite cordial with behind the scenes, we will work with the Scottish Government to make sure that we get through this thing together.”
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