‘Slap in the face!’ Fury as SNP ‘squanders’ eye-watering £1.2M of public cash on CARS
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Official Government figures have revealed between February 2019 and March 2020, the Government spent a huge £1,211,084 on unspecified vehicle costs. Nearly £100,000 of these costs (£96,480) from this total was paid to electric car maker Tesla, which is owned by Tesla and been dogged by allegations of workers’ rights violations, according to Scottish Labour. The figures show 17 payments – seven of which were £28,304.93, – were made to Cirencester-based The Colt Car Company.
Eight payments of £31,029.90 each were made to The Leven Car Company, with six payments totalling nearly £270,000 made to Clelands of the Borders Limited, a Volvo dealer in Galashiels, Scotland.
Two payments of £26,183.07 and £27,814.33 were made to Toyota while a single payment of £43.045.20 was made to Western Commercial, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Broxburn, Scotland.
Scottish Labour, led by Anas Sarwar, have launched a blistering attack against the SNP over the appropriateness of this use of public money, which they described as “squandering”.
The party’s finance spokesperson Daniel Johnson paid particular attention to the near £100,000 paid to Tesla and labelled this a slap in the face to the people of Scotland as thousands of people struggle to make ends meet.
Scottish Labour the amount of money spent on cars in such a short space of time “does not just raise eyebrows, it raises alarm”, and are demanding answers from the SNP over the “eye-watering wastage of public money”,
Mr Johnson said: “This is an eye-watering amount of money paid to car companies in such a short space of time – we need answers from the government over how and why every penny was spent.
“To fritter nearly £100,000 on Tesla while thousands of Scots are struggling to make ends meet is a slap in the face to the people of Scotland.
“Of course, the government needs to spend money on vehicle costs, but the amount of money paid in such a short time does not just raise eyebrows, it raises alarm.
“We need answers from the government over this eye-watering wastage of public money, and we need them now.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson confirmed all the vehicles were pool vehicles, used only for official business and had been procured as part of wider carbon reduction plans.
Capital spend on the vehicles is widely consistent with previous years and is necessary to meet a commitment to phasing out petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025, replacing fossil-fuelled vehicles with plug-in or fully electric vehicles where appropriate, the Scottish Government said.
A spokesperson said: “We are committed to phasing out petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025 and replacing fossil-fuelled vehicles with plug-in or fully electric vehicles where appropriate. This is demonstrated by our increased investment in ultra-low emitting electric vehicles, which now make up 51 percent of the overall current fleet (and 100 percent of the current Government Car Service fleet).”
The shock findings come with a former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party predicting Nicola Sturgeon will not be the SNP leader by the next parliamentary election in the country in 2026.
Jackson Carlaw told Express.co.uk he does not expect the current First Minister to stand for election in the 2026 Holyrood election.
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The Scottish Tory added that the current First Minister of Scotland’s time in power has come and gone already and the SNP will want to move on.
Mr Carlaw said: “I suspect that the next Scottish Parliamentary elections will not see Nicola Sturgeon.
“I think there will come a point where the party itself thinks it is time for her to move on.
“I suspect that will come about with her accepting some position with an organisation.
“She herself said at one point that she hoped to have another job in her.
“Politics is never forever for anyone, I think that people will just generally judge the time has come.
“Obviously, I feel it has come, it has come and gone already.”
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