Ian Blackford has been slammed for his “remarkable reaction” to a UK Government announcement that will mean billions of pounds in extra funding for Scotland’s NHS.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced the creation of a Health and Social Care Levy from 2023 onwards, which will raise £36 billion for frontline services in three years.
Under the plans, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive an additional £2.2 billion a year - 15% more than they will pay in, or £300 million per annum.
Conservative MP Andrew Bowie rejected claims by the SNP’s Westminster leader that the levy will “pay for the English social care.”
And the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP told the Commons that the SNP’s only complaint about the extra money for Scotland’s NHS was that “they haven't asked for it”.
He asked the Prime Minister:
“Will my right honourable Friend confirm that as a result of this announcement today, the Scottish National Health Service will receive billions of extra pounds in funding, and does he share my astonishment, I'm sure the astonishment of the people of Scotland, of the remarkable reaction of the SNP today, that seems to be because they haven't asked for it, they don't want Scotland NHS to get this extra funding."
Mr Johnson responded:
“Do they want the money or not? Do the people in Scotland want the investment in their health care and social care, or not? There's more money coming to Scotland, Mr Speaker, let's hope they spend it wisely.”
Mr Bowie later added: "The levy is a major response to the greatest challenge to our health and social care since the creation of the NHS.
"Workers across the UK are being asked to contribute to its future, so that generations to come will be able to rely on high-quality care, free at point of use.
"Scotland will receive more money than it will contribute.
"Ian Blackford said nothing when Scotland became the highest-taxed part of the UK under the SNP.
"Instead of seeking to deceive the public, he should welcome this massive boost for our health and social care."
The exchanges that took place in the commons today can be seen here -