THE SNP have said that more than £50 billion “wasted” by the UK Government could have funded millions of police officers and nurses or built over 110 hospitals.  

Analysis by the party suggested the UK Government has lost £55.6bn to fraud, the failed HS2 rail project and unusable PPE during the pandemic.

Specifically, the SNP said £21bn has been lost to fraud while £9.9bn had been spent on PPE that could not be used, and that this money could have been used to build 60 “mid-size” hospitals in Scotland.

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The SNP further added that £24.7bn has been spent on the HS2 project and that this could have helped fund over 800,000 newly qualified band five nurses or a new full-time police constable in Scotland.

Analysis also suggested the cost of just the cancellation phases of the HS2 project could have funded 73,000 nurses or police constables or built four new hospitals.

The party’s health spokesperson Amy Callaghan (below) said the “Tories have a long, disgraceful record of wasting taxpayers’ money through incompetence and failed projects” and that Rishi Sunak’s party show “complete disregard for people’s hard earned money and our vital public services”.

The National:

“After overseeing 14 years of imposed austerity, Brexit and the loss of EU funding, the Tories have shown they are completely out of touch and cannot be trusted with the public purse.”

The MP continued: “And Sir Keir Starmer isn’t showing us his Labour Party will be any different in government after confirming he will follow Tory tax and spending plans.

“These figures should serve as a wake-up call to the next UK government – it’s time to stop wasting taxpayers’ money and invest in our public services.

“Whilst Scotland remains tied to Westminster, we need a strong group of SNP MPs who can be trusted to represent Scotland’s interests and priorities in the UK Parliament – that can only be achieved by voting SNP at the next election.”

In a statement given to the Daily Record, a spokesperson for the UK Government said the analysis was a “mischaracterisation of government spending”.

“The Scottish Government is receiving a record £41bn per year settlement from the UK Government and has significant tax, borrowing and welfare powers to deliver for the people of Scotland,” they said.

"During the pandemic, the UK Government acted quickly to procure vital PPE, competing in a global market where demand massively outstripped supply in order to save lives and protect the NHS.

“Since Autumn 2021, we have invested more than £1bn to detect and crack down on public sector fraud and error, including launching the Public Sector Fraud Authority, which saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds in its first year alone."