McConnell denies Scotland is losing out on EU structural funds

1 Jun 00
Scottish finance minister Jack McConnell this week rejected claims by the Scottish National Party that Scotland is losing out on millions of pounds because of the way European Union structural funds are distributed.

02 June 2000

He told the Scottish Parliament?s European committee that Scotland received full benefit from EU cash and had an excellent record over the way it is allocated.

McConnell was giving evidence to MSPs who are conducting an inquiry into the allocation of EU funds in Scotland. The SNP has protested that European grants are not being matched by additional funds from the Treasury.

At present, EU structural funds are distributed to Scotland through the Barnett Formula, which determines how much Scotland receives from the Treasury.

Two Welsh academics, Dr Gillian Bristow and Dr Nigel Blewitt, suggested recently that the system should be abolished and structural funds ring-fenced so that the amount Scotland receives is not affected by the formula.

McConnell said: ?Scotland has a record which is second to none in maximising the utilisation of European structural funds. In the last round, we spent fully 99% of the allocation of money available to us. Projects worth more than £2.5bn were approved, involving around £1bn of structural grants.?


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