SNP MSP for South Scotland Joan McAlpine MSP has called on the UK Government to cough up their fair share of funding for Broadband and digital infrastructure across Scotland.
The MSP’s comments come after the UK Chancellor’s Broadband funding announcement at the Tory Party Conference on Monday (30/09/19) of a £25 billion investment in infrastructure to include nationwide 5G broadband, revitalised bus services and upgrades to major roads- but Ms. McAlpine says the funding needs to come directly to Scotland and not be risked in a messy ‘bidding war’ that could see Scotland lose out.
The Scottish Government received just £21 million funding from the Tory government, despite broadband being a matter reserved to Westminster – meaning it is the responsibility of the UK government. The allocation amounts to just 3.5% of the total funding for broadband in Scotland, with the other £580 million coming from the SNP Government.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“The UK Government must cough up their fair share of funding for digital infrastructure and broadband across Scotland after continually short-changing Scotland’s communities.
Rural communities face particular challenges installing broadband, and in Scotland we have many more communities which face these geographical challenges.
“It’s time for the Tories to put their money where their mouth is and ensure that they deliver the funding required for digital infrastructure improvements direct to Scotland, and stop forcing the Scottish Government to continue to foot the bill for this matter which is reserved to Westminster.”