Sturgeon EXPOSED: SNP ‘wastes’ £100,000 of taxpayer cash on Scottish independence Bill

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Figures released as Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced the 2021-22 Scottish Budget shows that during this financial year, the SNP has spent £100,000 on developing a Referendum Bill for a second Scottish independence vote. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a draft bill would be published setting out the timescale and potential question for a new referendum in her programme for Government in September.

But she stressed the SNP led Scottish Government “paused work” on preparations for a ballot as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. 

However, figures published as part of the Scottish Government’s Constitutional Affairs Portfolio reveals that £100,000 has been spent since April 2020 on “implementing” a bill for a second vote.

Opposition politicians slated the move, with Scottish Conservatives accusing the SNP led administration of putting separation of the Union first.

Dean Lockhart MSP, Scottish Conservative Constitutional Affairs spokesman, added to “All our efforts must be focused on recovering from the Covid pandemic, yet the SNP have shamefully spent a six figure sum pressing ahead with plans for another divisive independence referendum.

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“Jobs and livelihoods remain at great risk and the SNP have been painfully slow to get funding out the door to businesses.

“That’s where their focus should be, rather than creating an independence taskforce.

The SNP are talking about independence to distract from their woeful record in Government.

“They should cancel any plans for another referendum immediately and instead focus on rebuilding our communities.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, added: “The Scottish Government have got their priorities completely wrong.

“Nicola Sturgeon promised they would put independence aside while we dealt with the pandemic but these figures show that her government did no such thing.

“There’s no excuse for wasting taxpayer’s money and civil servant time in the midst of a global pandemic.

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“We need to put recovery first by investing in children’s education, tackling the mental health crisis, protecting businesses and jobs and beginning to rebuild our NHS.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, added to this website: “The Referendums Act was a piece of legislation with one purpose: to divide Scotland.

“It should be left on the shelf and no further government resources should be devoted to the SNP’s plans for separation.

“The government should focus entirely on the Covid recovery and work to bring communities together so that we can build a shared future for everyone.”

Jackie Baillie, interim leader of Scottish Labour, told this publication: “This is simply unacceptable – the sole focus for the SNP should be tackling the pandemic not on another divisive referendum.

“We cannot have the SNP waste £100,000 of taxpayer money on a referendum that will not happen this year.

“The SNP masquerade as ‘social democrats’ but as we have seen today they would rather fritter away public money to indulge in nationalist fantasies than provide proper pay for social care workers.”

Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish independence is ‘in clear sight’

It comes as the SNP revealed a “roadmap to a referendum” on Scottish independence, setting out how they intend to take forward their plans for a second vote.

The 11-point document says a “legal referendum” will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority following May’s election.

The roadmap states any attempt by the UK Government to challenge the legality of the referendum in the courts will be “vigorously opposed”.

A Section 30 order – part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster – was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.

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