RISHI Sunak has suggested he is “proud” to bypass Holyrood to deliver Union flag-branded infrastructure projects in Scotland.

The Chancellor has angered SNP ministers after unveiling plans to hand out funding direct from the Treasury to several developments in Scotland.

As part of his Budget plans, he announced there would be £172 million in total for eight Scottish projects as part of the Levelling Up Fund.

These include the development of Inverness Castle, a new marketplace in Aberdeen and a direct route between Glasgow and the Three Towns in north Ayrshire. There is also money set aside for developments in Edinburgh, Falkirk, West Dunbartonshire and Paisley.

The National: Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has warned RIshi Sunak's plans will undermine devolution Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has warned RIshi Sunak's plans will undermine devolution

READ MORE: The Budget: Here's what the UK is controversially funding in Scotland

On the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland (GMS), Sunak was asked if going “over Holyrood's head” was the best way to go about levelling up in Scotland.

He said: “Yesterday we announced the first allocations from the levelling up fund and I'm delighted we could actually directly fund local communities and projects across Scotland, with bids to improve local areas and to regenerate town centres. That's exactly what we said we would do and yesterday showed we're delivering on that.”

According to reports, the UK Government plans to brand Westminster-funded projects in Scotland with colours of the Union flag in a bid to convince Scots of the benefits of being part of the UK.

On GMS, the presenter interjected to ask whether “planting a great big Union Jack on these projects” was the most effective method of improving infrastructure in Scotland.

The Chancellor replied: “I'm really proud of the Union. I'm proud of what the UK Government does. We are one United Kingdom.

“It's totally reasonable for the United Kingdom Government to directly support communities in Scotland and they will see more of that through the community ownership fund, with communities who maybe want to take over a pub in their village are going to be able to get some part funding.”

Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has warned the Budget undermines devolution.

She said: “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Chancellor has pushed ahead with his centralised approach to levelling up, ignoring the views of governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"It means that money Scotland would have previously received under the seven year EU Structural Fund programmes to spend according to its own needs will now be distributed annually according to a UK Government agenda. This approach potentially leaves Scotland worse off, raises value for money concerns and undermines devolution.

“Overall this Budget and Spending Review disappoints in too many key areas.”