Ian Blackford. PM Boris Johnston congratulated him on “the SNP U-turn” on sending children back to school.
By Democrat reporter
There are growing concerns from medical experts about the real risk of a second wave of covid-19, SNP leader Ian Blackford told the The House of Commons today.
He added: “At the same time, experts at the Fraser of Allander Institute has outlined the scale of the economic challenges ahead, with a raft of redundancies and business closures if financial support is withdrawn.
“They warned that measures that risk a second wave of the virus would delay recovery in Scotland until 2024. The health and economic emergency requires an unprecedented response.
“On Monday, the Scottish Government’s advisory group on economic recovery, led by independent business leaders, published its initial analysis to secure a strong recovery.”
Mr Blackford asked PM Boris Johnston: “Will the Prime Minister welcome those efforts to find a way forward out of this economic crisis?”
When Mr Johnston replied saying he would be “only too happy to study the documents to which Mr Blackford had referred, the SNP leader said: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for that answer, and I am glad that he agrees that we need to take every action to study and aid the economic recovery.
“I am sure he is aware that the Scottish advisory group has called for an accelerated review of the devolved fiscal framework.
“Crucially, it has supported a significant increase in access to capital to stimulate an investment-led recovery in Scotland.
“Scotland can make different choices and invest in a strong recovery, but we can only do it with the necessary financial powers.
FM Nicola Sturgeon and Katie Forbes, Finance Secretary.
“Our First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon] and our Finance Secretary [Kate Forbes] have already made a request for more borrowing powers.
“Will the Prime Minister implement the recommendations of those business leaders and give the Scottish Parliament the economic powers it needs to fuel a recovery in the wake of the pandemic, or will he put Scotland’s economic recovery at risk?”
The PM told the Isle of Skye MP: “As part of our UK campaign against the coronavirus, Scotland has so far received £3.8 billion in Barnett consequentials—a fact that I am sure is seldom off his lips in his discussions with SNP colleagues.
“We will continue to invest massively in Scotland because Scotland, like the whole of the UK, benefits from being part of the oldest and most successful political partnership anywhere in the world. “
He closed with a barbed response: “I congratulate the SNP, by the way, on its U-turn—which could be copied with advantage by our friends on the Opposition Front Bench—on education and getting all kids into school.”
Meanwhile, earlier, Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (SNP), told the Commons: “I am sure the whole House will join me in passing on condolences to the family of the three children who sadly lost their lives in a house fire in Paisley last Friday evening, Fiona, Alexander and Philip Gibson—such a terrible tragedy.”