THE Finance Secretary has written to the UK Treasury to demand more funds after the Tories’ promises of “further, additional” cash for Scotland turned up empty.

In fact, despite figures such as Alister Jack and Douglas Ross praising the “extra” funding, it transpired that the Treasury had simply announced cash that would have flowed to Scotland in the new year anyway.

The First Minister hit out at the “smoke and mirrors”, later saying that the £220 million the Treasury had promised Scotland was in fact £48m less than had been expected.

Now, following a four-nations Cobra meeting on Wednesday evening, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has written to Rishi Sunak to demand more than the “entirely inadequate” funding promised to date.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon accuses Tories of shortchanging Scotland by £48m in Covid cash

In a letter to the UK Chancellor, Forbes condemned the fact that it is only health measures in England which trigger a response from the Tory government.

She writes: "Whilst I recognise and appreciate the early confirmation of forthcoming consequentials, I consider it entirely inadequate given the scale of the challenge we face from Omicron.

“I am concerned that the current total of £220 million does not represent additional funding, as it essentially covers two items the Scottish Government had been previously notified of or represents anticipated funding related to pre-Omicron levels of Covid.

"Indeed, not only is this funding quite clearly not additional, given £268 million of consequentials had been anticipated and largely budgeted for, the net effect of the announcement yesterday is to reduce our ability to fund public health measures, not increase it.

"More fundamentally, it is not a tenable position that funding is only triggered in relation to public health decisions in England. This directly inhibits our ability to protect jobs, lives and the NHS. We recognise that any system requires rigour and cannot be without controls but a system is required that supports the decisions of each devolved administration and is not beholden to the decisions of one part of the UK.

"Across the UK and Scottish Government, we have already provided support to mitigate, as far as possible, the health and economic harms of Covid and we must continue to do this.

"Without appropriate additional funding provided now, we will not be able to take decisions to protect public health and the wider economy at this critical juncture when we are trying to both slow the spread of the new variant and provide the financial support necessary to allow that."

The Scottish Government has pledged £100m to help business hit by the Omicron epidemic, but industry have said that is a "drop in the ocean" and called for Westminster to step in and do more, including bringing back the furlough scheme.

A UK Government spokesperson said earlier in the ongoing row: “We are giving the devolved administrations the certainty they need to spend more money in the coming weeks – exactly as they have asked for.

"The usual practice would be to wait for confirmed additional Barnett funding in the new year.

“This money is additional to the devolved administrations’ annual funding as confirmed at the Autumn Budget.

“We continue to engage with the Scottish Government in the face of this serious health crisis.”