The Scottish Government has been urged to use a funding boost to hand over money to support schools in Moray – despite no confirmation that the extra cash actually exists.
The UK Government has announced that £2 billion will be heading to Holyrood following an education pledge south of the border, which has been calculated by the Barnett formula that determines investment from Westminster.
Yesterday Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston called for the cash to be handed over to councils in order to improve the condition of schools.
However, last night the Scottish Government revealed that no money had been confirmed yet while urging caution over allocating investment until it is.
Mr Halcro Johnston stressed that “excuses” must not be allowed to prevent money heading to Moray Council schools, which currently have a repair backlog of £141 million.
He said: “The extra cash from the UK Government must not be siphoned off again by the SNP to spend on its own pet projects.
“This extra £2 billion must be targeted at our schools, which have been suffering due to a persistent lack of funding.
“Moray, which gets a very bad deal from the funding formula, has been even more badly hit than most Scottish councils.
“There is now no excuse. We must see the extra money coming to Moray.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised £14 billion for English schools last week over the next three years.
The Scottish Conservatives say the investment will result in £2 billion heading to Holyrood during the same period to spend as it chooses, amid pressure to reduce vacancies.
Concerns have been mounting in Moray about the condition of the education estate, which has been ranked as the worst in Scotland, as the council battles to fund repairs while continuing to make massive savings.
The Scottish Government’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay, has revealed that no funding has yet been confirmed from Westminster and stressed no announcements could be made until that point.
He said: “The UK Government has yet to confirm a single penny in additional funding from their recent announcements.
“Recent history has also taught us that initial claims of more cash do not turn out to be accurate.”