The UK Government has spent more than £10 billion in Scotland as part of efforts to limit the impact of coronavirus, according to the Scottish Conservatives.
The party’s finance spokesman Donald Cameron welcomed the “unprecedented” funding, arguing that it showed the Westminster government cares about Scotland.
Holyrood finance minister Kate Forbes has previously said the costs of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic are “significantly higher” than the additional money that has been given to Holyrood by the UK Government.
In addition to the £3.5 billion in Barnett consequentials from spending in England, analysis by the Scottish Tories suggests the job retention scheme has seen £4.8 billion spent north of the border.
The party’s figures also show £700 million of support for the self-employed, an additional £224.6 million additional funding for Universal Credit, statutory sick pay and working tax credits while loans schemes have lent approximately £1.3 billion to Scottish firms.
Mr Cameron said: “The level of financial support from the UK Government is astonishing and unprecedented.
“It proves how valuable this union of four nations is and how we pull together in times of crisis.
“It also puts firmly to bed any suggestion that Westminster doesn’t care about Scotland – this shows 10 billion reasons very much to the contrary.
“This money isn’t just being used to arm the health and care services with what they need to fight coronavirus.
“It’s safeguarding hundreds of thousands of jobs, making sure our economy can return to strength, and protecting the most vulnerable in society.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, added: “This welcome support for Scotland’s fight against Covid-19 comes from being part of the UK.
“The broad shoulders of the UK are helping every nation and region during these difficult times.
“It’s important that governments remain focused on recovering from the coronavirus crisis, bringing people together and working in the interests of everyone in Scotland.”
SNP MSP Tom Arthur accused the Scottish Conservatives of “trying to politicise a pandemic that has led to the loss of thousands of lives across the UK” and urged the UK Government to commit to extending the furlough scheme in Scotland if needed.
Mr Arthur said: “Instead of boasting about the amount of money which has been spent, the Tories should spend some time trying to persuade their Westminster bosses to guarantee jobs and businesses in Scotland will be protected if lockdown has to continue longer here than elsewhere in the UK.
“Anything short of that guarantee makes a mockery of claims that Westminster always acts in Scotland’s best interests – and as the First Minister said today, most people would think it’s unacceptable if Scotland was hampered in fighting a deadly pandemic and taking whatever action is needed to suppress the virus.
“If Westminster fails to guarantee the financial support to allow that to happen, then the alternative is for the Scottish Government to be able to borrow more so that we can do that ourselves.”