Sarwar slams Sturgeon for 'wasting £3billion of taxpayers money'
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Nicola Sturgeon came under fire from the leader of the Scottish Labour Party during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood on Thursday.
Anas Sawar questioned Ms Sturgeon over a list of failures which he said cost each household the equivalent of £1,200.
The “failures” he cited included £152million in botched ferry contracts at Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow, as well as £40million on wrongful prosecutions of the Rangers football club.
During the meeting, Mr Sarwar said: “£3billion of public money has been lost to SNP incompetence – that is the cost of SNP failure.
“The list is endless – from £152million on a failed ferry contract at Fergusons to the £146million spent fixing this Government’s mistakes at the Edinburgh Sick Kids and the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow.
“£40million and rising on the malicious prosecution of Rangers and almost £200million on failed industrial interventions and loan write-offs.”
The Labour leader also said nearly £1billion had been spent for agency workers for the NHS “because Nicola Sturgeon cut training places when Health Secretary”.
He also said that “over a billion pounds” was spent 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 instead making them pay the cost of SNP failure?”
But Ms Sturgeon fired 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.
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“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.
She added: “The second example I will use where he is downright wrong, is it says £146million of additional costs in relation to hospitals.
“The vast majority of that figure, and I’ve looked at that closely because I’ve heard Labour use it, relates to planned costs which would in no way be new, unexpected or avoidable.”
Ms Sturgeon concluded: “So there’s a lot of nonsense in the question that Anas Sarwar has just asked me.”
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