Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of running a “return to sender” government – after the SNP gave up on another power from Westminster.
Finance secretary Derek Mackay confirmed today that he will snub assigned VAT which was meant to be up-and-running by next April.
That’s after ministers also sent back powers on social security earlier this year.
And only yesterday, the First Minister confirmed she wouldn’t be using newly-transferred powers on air departure tax either.
The hat-trick of handbacks comes despite the SNP previously claiming it could have an entire independent country fully functioning within just 18 months.
Mr Mackay made the admission to this morning’s Scottish Parliament Finance Committee, barely a month into what was meant to be a “transition year” for the transfer of VAT.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:
“This move exposes the fact that Nicola Sturgeon is running a return-to-sender government.
“It’s bad enough that she handed back social security powers earlier this year, then suddenly decided she wanted nothing to do with control over air departure tax this week.
“Now we learn the SNP government doesn’t even have the wherewithal to cope with the VAT assignment it so furiously demanded previously.
“This is a government which said it could have an entire separate country up-and-running within just 18 months.
“Yet when powers begin to arrive at Holyrood, instead of embracing them and making them work for Scotland, the nationalists hand them straight back.
“That’s the hallmark of a grievance-driven, incompetent administration whose time has long been up.”