THE Scottish Government has confirmed it will set out how the £20 million indyref2 fund will be spent at the upcoming budget, after the Supreme Court blocked plans for a referendum next year.

Ministers had been planning to hold a vote on October 19, 2023, if the court found the Parliament had the legislative competence to do so without the UK’s consent.

After judges said the Government required the approval of Westminster in order for a legal ballot to go ahead, the likelihood of the October 2023 indyref going ahead was quashed.

READ MORE: Devi Sridhar responds to 'pro-SNP' bias complaint upheld by BBC

Some £20m had already been set aside under the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture brief for the “delivery of a referendum on independence”.

Putting the cash towards independence was heavily criticised by opposition parties at the time, but Nicola Sturgeon argued it was worth just 0.05% of the Government’s budget – making it a “really good investment … to give the people of this country the opportunity to choose a better future”.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has now demanded that the money be used elsewhere, claiming that hundreds of teachers, nurses or police officers could be employed with the cash.

The National: There was faux indignation from Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar at First Minister’s Questions

“With the unequivocal ruling, there will be no referendum next year. So there is absolutely no justification for them failing to reallocate every penny of their referendum fund,” he said.

“This is millions of pounds’ worth of funding that could support families and businesses through the global cost of living crisis or help our NHS through a winter storm.

READ MORE: Labour's Anas Sarwar named Scottish Politician of the Year

"We constantly hear ministers moaning about a lack of funds for Scotland’s public services, but they have always protected their referendum slush fund."

Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton (below) meanwhile called for the cash to go to Long Covid sufferers.

The National: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - May 7: Scottish Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament after the rejection of a number of amendments he tabled during the Stage 3 (final stage) debate on the Age of Criminal

The Scottish Government said that ministers will continue making the case for independence, and acting finance minister John Swinney will set out how the £20m will be used at next month’s Budget.

The Budget, which Sturgeon has described as a “difficult balancing act”, is due to be presented to Holyrood on December 15.