The SNP Government have been accused of going on a “power trip” after it emerged they are seeking to railroad an extension of sweeping Covid laws through the Scottish Parliament in just a few days.
Reports today claim the SNP are seeking to extend Covid laws, which were intended to be short-term measures to tackle the pandemic, for a further six months – to the end of March 2022. This would mean that Scottish Ministers would have held these unprecedented powers for two years.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, Murdo Fraser MSP, said it was “alarming” that the SNP were seeking to pass last-minute legislation over such extensive powers.
Murdo Fraser, who will lead the Scottish Conservative response to today’s Covid laws statement, added it would be “unjustifiable” to prolong emergency powers longer than necessary.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, Murdo Fraser MSP, said: “The SNP failed to win a majority but they’ve already started to disrespect the Scottish Parliament anyway.
“In the last week of term, over just a few days, it seems they are seeking to railroad through Parliament an extension to emergency Covid powers that don’t expire until the end of September.
“There is plenty of time for a proper consultation on this over the summer, and for any new legislation to be considered when Parliament returns at the beginning of September. The rush to extend so many emergency laws is alarming. It looks like the SNP are on a power trip.
“They are leaving this extension of powers and the publication of the OECD report to the last minute to dodge parliamentary scrutiny.
“It is unjustifiable to extend sweeping powers longer than necessary, so there will be real concern over a move to prolong powers to 2022 when we don’t know what the Covid situation will be in a few weeks, never mind in September.
“We will be pressing John Swinney this afternoon on the justification for the move and the unacceptable attempt to bulldoze sweeping legislation through Parliament at short notice.”