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Sturgeon’s indyref dream costing taxpayers £1.5m a year despite ‘savage cuts’ on services | Politics | News

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Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed that over £1.5million of taxpayer money will be put towards Sturgeon’s fight for independence. In the Scottish referendum in 2014, just over 55 percent of voters decided to remain part of the UK.

Despite Sturgeon’s promise ahead of the 2014 referendum that it was a “once in a generation” vote, she has now said that she and her government will find another way “for Scottish people to express their will”.

The First Minister had proposed holding a second independence referendum on October 19 next year.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has not halted Sturgeon’s efforts as she said in Edinburgh: “We must, and we will find another democratic, lawful, and constitutional means by which the Scottish people can express their will.

“In my view, that can only be an election. As long as there is breath in my body, I refuse to give up on the basic principle of democracy.”

Now figures have shown that over £1.5million of public money will be spent annually on civil servants dedicated to the drive for independence.

The Scottish Conservatives found the revealing data through an FOI request shows that there are 25 officials dedicated to working for the campaign.

The Tories combined the maximum annual salary of civil servants in each pay bracket which showed that Sturgeon’s Government will spend £1,532,664 on the staff.

According to the figures, one senior civil servant is in the highest pay bracket where the maximum annual salary is £47,485.

One official is paid £47,485 per annum while five others earn under £47,000 on the two lowest pay ranges.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon offered three-step plan to force through IndyRef2

Nine other staff members are in the C1 bracket which pays up to £62,167, eight others are paid 75,341 and another earns £77,340 per year.

Sturgeon was slammed by the Conservatives for using taxpayers’ money towards her “pet project”.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said that the Scottish Government needs to utilise its staff to focus on issues such as the NHS or the cost of living crisis.

Mr Cameron said: “Most Scots will be appalled that Nicola Sturgeon is squandering huge sums of public money and civil service resources on her pet project at the same time as imposing savage cuts on key public services.

“It is further proof – if any were needed – that the SNP leader always puts her party’s interests before those of the country.”

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The Scottish Conservative spokesman also brought up the Supreme Court ruling which he believes renders the Scottish Government’s efforts a waste of time, money, and resources.

“The Scottish Government’s independence unit must be disbanded now and the civil servants in question work on the issues that matter to people in Scotland, like the global cost of living crisis and the NHS, which is on its knees under this SNP-Green coalition”, he said.

On the topic of Sturgeon’s statement that the SNP will see the upcoming general election in 2025 as a de-facto independence referendum, Mr Cameron slammed the party as “arrogant”.

He said: “Setting aside the arrogance of that strategy – it’s voters who decide the issues on which they vote – it is clearly a party-political tactic, not something for the apparatus of Government.

“Therefore, it would be utterly scandalous if independent, publicly funded civil servants continued to be used for what is now purely SNP campaigning.”


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