Scottish Government independence spending to be investigated by UK officials
The Scottish Government is set to be investigated by UK officials over concerns it has been spending public money on matters not within its remit, Parliament has heard.
Officials in the Treasury and the Office of the Advocate General of Scotland will look into money spent working on Scottish independence which, as a matter of constitution, is a reserved matter.
Scottish Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, who has been campaigning on the issue, said he had been assured by the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Stewart of Dirleton, that “ultra-vires” expenditure would be looked into.
He told the House of Lords: “The Advocate General for Scotland has agreed, at my request, to instruct his officials to investigate ultra-vires expenditure by the Scottish Government.”
He then asked Treasury minister Baroness Penn to “give her assurance that her officials in the Treasury will work co-operatively” with the Advocate General’s officials.
Lady Penn responded: “I can give him that assurance.”
This comes after First Minister Humza Yousaf created a minister for independence role for Jamie Hepburn, and civil servants delivered the latest independence prospectus, despite the Supreme Court confirming last year that the constitution is a reserved matter.
However, the PA news agency understands there is no UK Government investigation into the Scottish Government’s spending on independence.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “It is up to the Scottish Government how it spends its record block grant in devolved areas.
“We have been consistently clear that we think that the priority for people in Scotland is halving inflation, tackling the NHS waiting times, ensuring energy security, and growing our economy across the whole of the UK.”
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