SCOTLAND could be saddled with a bill of more than £22 billion as part of Westminster’s clean up of nuclear dumping grounds over the next century, the SNP have said.

Official estimates published by the UK Government last November estimated total clean-up costs for sites which contained disposed nuclear material from weapons programmes and energy generation could come to £263bn over the next 100 years. 

This means Scotland, which contributes 8.6% of the UK’s tax revenue, could be made to pay £22,618,000,000 in total, working out to £22m every year for a century.

The SNP’s defence spokesperson Martin Docherty-Hughes criticised how conventional military spending had been “recklessly slashed” while the Tories focus cash on disposing nuclear materials from weapons of mass destruction.  

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He said: “Westminster’s obsession with nuclear energy and weapons neither benefits nor helps ordinary Scots, and yet they’re expected to fork out tens of millions every year for a century to pay for the cleanup of radioactive materials.

“While the Tories have lined up funding for the cleanup of material that shouldn’t have been used anyway, public services have been decimated, and a cost of living crisis that has seen energy bills go through the roof has hammered households.

“Conventional military spending has been recklessly slashed as global tensions rise, with the Tories instead focussing obscene amounts of cash on disposing of nuclear materials from weapons of mass destruction we should never, and will never, use.

“And in prioritising expensive nuclear energy they've even refused to support efforts to save jobs and future proof Scotland’s already established and thriving energy sector by matching the SNP Scottish Government’s £500 million funding for a Just Transition.

“The list of projects and causes Scotland’s £22 billion could be better spent on is endless, but as ever Westminster’s spending priorities are askew and based around making Scotland pay for things Scots neither want nor need.”

Earlier this month Keir Starmer was slated for suggesting Trident is the “bedrock” of Labour’s defence policy despite growing concern over the state of the ageing nuclear fleet.

The Labour leader launched a full-throated defence of Britain’s nuclear weapons in an attempt to stress the distance he has taken the party since its leadership under Jeremy Corbyn – who voted against the renewal of Trident while in charge.

The SNP have said Labour’s commitment to Trident was “grotesque”.

Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, claimed in January there was a top-level cover-up of the poor state of the UK’s nuclear provision.