CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will today visit Scotland on what he hopes will be a Union-boosting tour.

But while the Treasury hails "the economic strength of the Union", Sunak has been urged to "explain" himself to the people of Scotland for ending furlough and taking cash from families while the government spends £250 million on a yacht.

The visit to Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow will take in the renewables, cultural and financial services sectors and see Sunak unveil his "vision of the future" for the latter.

It follows the publication of government data showing how just 4000 young Scots have started jobs through Westminster's Kickstart scheme, which promised 250,000 posts across the UK. And it comes after the Sunday National revealed how less than 1% of a £1 billion UK Government scheme to help start-ups during the pandemic has gone to companies in Scotland.

Last night the Treasury circulated a statement from the Chancellor in which he said Scotland’s “innovation and ingenuity” would be key in powering the UK’s future global economy.

But with furlough ending in September and the £20 Universal Credit uplift for struggling families being withdrawn in the same month, SNP shadow chancellor Alison Thewliss has questioned the UK Government's priorities after the green-lighting of a £250m "floating embassy".

READ MORE: DWP data reveals Kickstart Covid jobs scheme 'failing Scotland'

She said Sunak "should use his visit to Scotland to apologise to the people and businesses here" for the "premature" end of furlough support in September, which she said is "risking thousands of unnecessary redundancies".

And she went on: "Many sectors and businesses across the UK are still not operating at full capacity, and many of those that are will need continued support to stay afloat. That must include action on the looming debt crisis facing businesses through the repayment of UK government business loans.

"I would urge Rishi Sunak to explain to the people of Scotland why he is short-changing us on youth jobs, and ploughing ahead with Universal Credit cuts that will undermine the Scottish Child Payment and plunge half a million people into poverty, when at the same time he can find £250m for a UK government yacht.

"As for his boasts about the supposed strength of the UK, the reality is that the UK is the poorest country per head amongst its neighbours in north-west Europe, with countries similar in size or smaller than Scotland being the fairest and most prosperous. It is increasingly clear that the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory austerity is to become an independent country.”

The exact locations and businesses Sunak will visit haven't been disclosed, but chosen firms have been "supported by the UK Government's Plan for Jobs throughout the pandemic", the Treasury said.

READ MORE: Ferry row as Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes trip to Isle of Bute

With around 100 days until the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, he'll also meet offshore wind sector representatives, thank those from financial services for maintaining services through the pandemic and "see how Scotland’s culture sector is preparing for the summer ahead as it looks forward to welcoming back locals and tourists who wish to revel in Scotland’s rich cultural heritage".

Last time he was here in August 2020, Sunak was welcomed to Bute by Remain-supporting independence activists and accused of showing "complete disregard" to islanders by reportedly having his three cars skip the ferry queue.

In his statement, Sunak said: "We’ve come through this pandemic as one United Kingdom – with our Plan for Jobs supporting one in three jobs and tens of thousands of businesses across Scotland.

"Thanks to the strength of our Union we’ve deployed the fastest vaccination rollout in Europe and our economy is rebounding faster than expected.

"It’s vital this continues, and Scotland’s innovation and ingenuity will be key in creating jobs, powering our growth and driving a green recovery."