South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has labelled Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack “hopelessly out of touch” after it was revealed that the Tory MP was one of 50 MPs who recently signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph calling for a new £120m Royal Yacht to be built.

The letter called for a new National Lottery Game to be established to fund the building of the yacht to “showcase post-Brexit Britian”.

Commenting on the news, South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said, “Dumfries and Galloway has the fourth highest rate of child poverty with 42% of kids living in deprivation, nearly two-thirds of our region’s pensioners suffer fuel poverty, homelessness is on the rise locally and we are the lowest wage economy in Scotland, with wages plummeting. It therefore beggars believe that our hopelessly out of touch Tory MP thinks a priority should be to build a new Royal Yacht”.

“Hundreds of community groups, many at the forefront of tackling poverty in our region, rely on lottery funding. Clearly, if we have yet another lottery game to help fund the building of a new luxury yacht for the Queen that will take money away from those groups and of course it will be the tax-payer who will have to fund the millions of pounds of annual running costs for such an extravagance”.

“I appreciate that Mr Jack maybe fancies a trip on a new yacht with his friends in the Royal Family and he won’t understand, never mind have experienced poverty. However, he would be far better spending his time getting out and about and visiting local food banks to find out why poverty is so rife in our region and about to get even worse as a direct result of policies he is voting for in Parliament like universal credit

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