A SCOTTISH Tory MSP was accused of lying twice within 10 seconds on Question Time despite being told before answering that his assertions were incorrect.

Stephen Kerr was appearing on the BBC political panel show on Thursday evening that was broadcast from St Andrews.

An audience member was critical of the Scottish Government and the impact devolution has had with his main complaint being about potholes on Scotland's roads.

He was critical of the impact of devolution, saying "we're no further forward" because of it and asked what MSPs were doing to earn their money provided for by taxpayers.

The National: Mairi McAllan is the Scottish Government's Environment MinisterMairi McAllan is the Scottish Government's Environment Minister

Mairi McAllan, the Scottish Government's Environment Minister, appeared on the program as the SNP's representative and listed what the devolved government in Scotland is doing to improve lives.

She said: "I'll take it from a child born in Scotland today, or indeed someone that we would welcome from around the world.

"When they're born, they will have a baby box waiting for them with essentials for the first six months of life."

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At this point, Question Time host Fiona Bruce cut in as the audience member asked "why" people in Scotland need baby boxes.

The audience member said: "Well listen, my mum and dad didn't have that and I grew up ok."

McAllan responded: "Well maybe you were fortunate."

He cuts in again: "Because I worked hard!"

McAllan continued with her response, saying: "[A child born in Scotland] will have 1140 hours of funded childcare, by the time they go to primary school they will have free school meals, support with music and art tuition, support with school trips.

"When they go to high school they will have a greater chance than ever before of getting a higher pass and an advanced higher pass. Someone mentioned public transport - we've just introduced free bus travel for under 22s."

The man then interjected again: "But it isn't free! We have to pay for it!"

McAllan said: "Exactly, it's funded."

She concluded: "Should they decide they want to go to university they will do so based on their ability to learn and not on their ability to pay and I think that's an apt point to make in St Andrews."

The National: Stephen Kerr is the Scottish Tory chief whip and convener of the Education, Children and Young People CommitteeStephen Kerr is the Scottish Tory chief whip and convener of the Education, Children and Young People Committee (Image: PA)

Kerr, the Scottish Tory chief whip and convener of Holyrood's Education, Children and Young People Committee, said: "All the things that that gentleman says is absolutely true."

He continued: "What people care about in Scotland, as they do, I think, throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, is the quality of their lives. They care about the quality of the roads they drive on. They care about things like the quality of education that's being delivered, for example, in Scotland."

McAllan interjected: "I've just set that out."

Undeterred, Kerr went on: "[Education] has deteriorated under the watch of the SNP."

McAllan added: "You can say that till you're blue in the face, it doesn't make it true."

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Higher pass rates hit a record of 89% in 2020 when grades were based on teacher assessments because of disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, when there was also disruption, the higher pass rate was 87.3% but the pass rate for Advanced Highers was the highest (93.1%) since the qualification was introduced in 2001.

And data from the same time showed that there was a 12% increase in Scottish-domiciled placed applicants of all ages going to university to a record number of 32,580.

Kerr then said: "On top of all of this, we pay more tax in Scotland than any other part of the United Kingdom."

McAllan can be heard saying: "That's just not true."

SNP staffer Olaf Stando commented: "Audience member on #bbcqt argues against devolution and Scotland's Baby Box.

"[Stephen Kerr] says it's 'absolutely true' and then lies twice about the SNP's record in 10 seconds - unchallenged by Fiona Bruce.

"Fair play to @MairiMcAllan for the perfect rebuttal."

READ MORE: FACT CHECK: Are Scots being 'clobbered' by higher tax rates?

During the exchange, Kerr went on to suggest that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's only focus is "separatism" to which McAllan responded: "What's the baby box got to do with the constitution?"

The overall tax burden in Scotland is lower than for the UK as a whole due to lower income tax levels that are set to remain unchanged, plus lower business and domestic rates.

Scottish Secretary for the UK Government Alister Jack has also previously admitted that more than half of Scots pay less tax than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.