Anas Sarwar has accused the SNP Government of wasting more than £3 billion of taxpayers money since they came into power in 2007.
The Scottish Labor leader took aim at Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood earlier today.
During his question in the Chamber Sarwar probed Sturgeon about the money spent on “failure” on projects such as, the ferry contracts at Fergusons shipyard in Port Glasgow, the mistakes at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and the Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh, failed industrial interventions and the malicious prosecution of Rangers.
During the fiery debate at the first FMQs since the Easter recess Sturgeon hit back, disputing some of the claims made by the Labor MSP.
Sarwar said: “£3 billion of public money has been lost to SNP incompetence – that is the cost of SNP failure.
“The list is endless – from £152 million on a failed ferry contract at Fergusons to the £146 million spent fixing this Government’s mistakes at the Edinburgh Sick Kids and the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow.
“£40 million and rising on the malicious prosecution of Rangers and almost £200 million on failed industrial interventions and loan write offs.
“Nearly a billion pounds on agency workers in the health service because Nicola Sturgeon cut training places, over a billion pounds on delayed discharge because of their failure to fix the social care crisis.
“Every penny of this wasted money could have been more cash for our NHS, more cash for our schools or more cash to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
“Rather than helping people with the cost of living crisis, why is this government is instead making them pay the cost of SNP failure?”
Sturgeon hit back disputing the claims calling them “nonsense.”
She said: “What Anas Sarwar failed of course to mention is that this government has had 15 years of unqualified accounts.
“That is the reality in terms of our stewardship of the public finances.
“One of the examples he’s talking about prosecution. Prosecution decisions, of course, are matters for the independent crown office.
“Is Anas Sarwar seriously saying that I, as First Minister, or any minister of this government should have interfered in the independent prosecution decisions of the crown office?
“Perhaps you should clarify that matter.
“The second example I will use where he is downright wrong is it says £146 million of additional costs in relation to hospitals.
“The vast majority of that figure and I’ve looked at that closely because I’ve heard Labor use it relates to planned costs which would in no way new, unexpected or avoidable.
“So for example, £80 million of that related to preparatory works, which were separate to the admin contract, but were budgeted costs included in the business case.
“Another £33 million related to the annual service payment, also part of the original business case.
“So there’s a lot of nonsense in the question that Anas Sarwar has just asked me.”
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