South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called on the Scottish Government to make a financial announcement for the Borderlands Growth Deal in their Budget in four weeks’ time.
The call was made during Questions in the Scottish Parliament.
The UK Government failed to make a financial announcement in the Autumn Statement, despite the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, setting a deadline for the five Borderlands local authorities to submit plans to be considered for the Budget. The five local authorities – Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, Northumberland County Council, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council confirmed that their plans for the Growth Deal were submitted by the deadline set by the Secretary of State.
Colin Smyth MSP believes that the failure of the UK Government to make a financial commitment to the Borderlands Growth Deal should not prevent the Scottish Government from doing so.
Colin Smyth said, “It is deeply disappointing that the UK Government failed to make a financial commitment to the Borderlands Growth Deal in the Autumn Statement. Our region urgently needs investment after the economic shocks seen over the past year and with our low wage economy it’s essential that we see growth in both the economy and in wages.
The Scottish Government must not follow in the footsteps of the UK Government and make no mention of the Borderlands Growth Deal. There is a precedent for the Scottish Government making an announcement before Westminster in the Tay Cities Deal. The SNP should do the same for Borderlands and prove that there is the political will behind Borderlands to start making a difference to our local economy.”