SCOTTISH Secretary Alister Jack has been urged to “match every single penny that comes from the Scottish Government” in any future Islands Growth Deal.

On Wednesday, the Tory minister told MPs he would “soon announce” details of the deals for both Falklands and the islands.

During the session of Scottish questions, Jack also revealed that any growth deal for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles would need to be bespoke rather than designed around the formula related to population numbers, as used in other deals.

Two SNP politicians say they are concerned that the UK Government could end up short-changing the islands.

It follows clashes between Scottish and UK ministers over the Tay City Deal.

While the UK Government pumped £150 million into the deal which supports growth and creates new jobs across across Dundee, Perthshire, Angus and North East Fife, the Scottish Government committed £200m.

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But Scotland Office officials claim the additional £50m from the Scottish Government was for projects outwith the scope of the deal.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan MSP and his Westminster colleague Angus MacNeil have called for clarity.

Allan said: “Since the Islands Growth Deal was officially announced last summer the Tory Government has been giving us the silent treatment – no commitment, no timescale and no cash offer.

“The UK Government previously said they’d match funding for Scotland’s regions on a 50:50 basis – but we don’t want to end up in the same boat as Tayside, which was diddled out of £50m from Westminster.

“It’s time for a bit of honesty from the Tories. Have they simply given up on Scotland and abandoned their promises to match investment?”

MacNeil added: “The economic prosperity and jobs of islanders is on the line here.

The National: Islands council 'hope, indeed expect' a good growth deal in the spring budgetIslands council 'hope, indeed expect' a good growth deal in the spring budget

“This growth deal could help create hundreds of jobs so it’s time that we were given a straight answer. Will the Tories put their money where their mouth is and match every single penny that comes from the Scottish Government?

“If not, it will send a clear message to people in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland that the UK Tory Government simply doesn’t care about them.”

Responding to the SNP politicians, a UK Government spokesman said: “The UK Government has already committed £1.4 billion of funding for ten city and growth deals in Scotland and confirmed three new deals which bring 100% coverage across Scotland.

“The Secretary of State for Scotland confirmed in parliament last week he was in discussions with Her Majesty’s Treasury over funding for the upcoming Islands Deal.”

Last Wednesday’s announcement was the first word on the Islands Growth Deal since last July.

Already, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland Councils have been working together to develop a framework of how the funding will be spent.

The Scottish Government, UK Government, the Island Councils and other “island stakeholders” are due to attend a reception in Holyrood next month.

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In a statement to the Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser, a spokesperson said: “The Comhairle would always like to see as early an announcement of an Islands Growth Deal as possible, but the announcement of an Islands Deal was not anticipated in the autumn budget.

“We hope, and indeed expect, a positive statement from UK Government in the spring budget statement.

“The reception at Holyrood in February will bring our proposals for an Islands Deal to the attention of all MSPs, and there is much positive engagement with both Scottish and UK Government, at official and Ministerial level.

“We are hoping that Treasury ministers will confirm a meeting with Islands representatives, through Angus MacNeil MP, shortly, but with the current focus on Brexit, it is possible that this date will slip.

“The job of the Comhairle at the moment is to ensure that the Islands Growth Deal is on every table and agenda it should be, and we believe that it is, and that an announcement of a Growth Deal of the Islands will be made later this year.”