Rachael Hamilton MSP and John Lamont MP have criticised the Scottish Government for failing to launch policies to help the Borders recover after the pandemic.
The Borders parliamentarians have accused the SNP-Green Government of ‘putting independence before recovery’ following the publication of the annual Programme for Government.
The nationalist coalition announced plans for a new independence White Paper and plans to hold a referendum over the next two years.
In the Programme for Government, they commit to starting “work on a detailed prospectus for an independent Scotland.”
The Programme only mentioned the Borders once, relating to the decarbonisation of the Borders Railway.
Yet there was no mention of the extension of the railway south to Carlisle; nor a commitment to launch a feasibility study looking at the business case.
Within the Programme for Government, were major infrastructure upgrades for parts of Scotland, but a lack of any plans for dualling or upgrading the A1, A68 or A7.
On broadband, the Programme put forward a delayed date of 2024/25 for delivering superfast broadband to 100% of South of Scotland, some 3 years after the initial target of Spring 2021.
Mrs Hamilton and Mr Lamont believe the Programme ‘lacks ambition’ and puts independence ahead of the Borders economy and jobs.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“The SNP-Green coalition of chaos has published a Programme for Government which falls short of expectation for the Borders.
“Their lack of ambition for tackling the challenges facing the country post-pandemic is there for all to see.
“Their flagship R100 broadband programme, which was meant to deliver for rural areas, is already delayed.
“There is no further progress on upgrading vital transport links in the south; nor is there any further funding for South of Scotland Enterprise.
“The SNP have failed to deliver meaningful action on increasing capacity within our NHS and this programme does not offer solutions for dealing with the backlog of operations.
“Jobs and livelihoods are at stake because of this independence-obsessed SNP-Green Government.
“I will not stand by and let them ignore the Borders. We need urgent action to assist our region’s recovery”.
John Lamont MP said:
“Our economy and public services are struggling like never before due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“NHS waiting lists are rising, our economy is struggling to restart, and drug deaths are the highest in Europe.
“Yet this Programme for Government prioritises another Scottish independence referendum.
“Yet another tired government programme from a tired SNP administration.”