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Kate Forbes criticised for ‘reckless’ referendum plan

SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes has been criticised for her “reckless” referendum plan to try to hold a vote on independence just three months after the next General Election.

Douglas Ross said the plan was “not remotely credible” when there are so many bigger priorities facing the country.

The Scottish Conservative leader said Kate Forbes had a “terrible record in government” which she was now hoping the country would forget.

At First Minister's Questions, Douglas Ross also demanded that Nicola Sturgeon delay the Deposit Return Scheme, since six out of seven eligible businesses had not signed up.

On the Deposit Return Scheme, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “We know that thousands of producers have decided not to sign up to the Deposit Return Scheme because it is such a shambles.

“But Nicola Sturgeon refused to say just how many businesses still need to sign up. She won’t even come clean with the public about how badly her scheme is doing.

“Scottish businesses are sending the government a message loud and clear – the Deposit Return Scheme is a total disaster.

“The Scottish Wholesale Association said it could be a ‘car crash’, UK Hospitality Scotland say it is ‘flawed’, Innis and Gunn say it is ‘unworkable’.

“The Scottish Chamber of Commerce said last night, in response to Lorna Slater’s statement, that business concerns have been ‘completely ignored’.

“The outgoing SNP leader must finally listen to Scottish businesses and delay the Deposit Return Scheme.”

On the SNP leadership race, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “No wonder the First Minister doesn’t want to talk about the SNP leadership race. This contest is a bin fire.

“The SNP are so split and divided they tried to ban the media from watching it. The only thing that unites them is independence – but the candidates’ plans are even more reckless than Nicola Sturgeon’s de facto referendum.

“Kate Forbes thinks the Deposit Return Scheme could cause ‘economic carnage’, but apparently holding another referendum on breaking up a 300-year-old Union will be a breeze.

“Nobody in Scotland will find Kate Forbes’ plan remotely credible. It’s reckless when there are so many more pressing priorities for people in Scotland.

“The problem with Kate Forbes’ criticisms of the SNP’s record is that it’s also her record. 

“When the SNP Government was slow in paying out Covid grants to businesses, Kate Forbes was running the schemes.

“When companies demanded the SNP Government reset its anti-businesses approach, Kate Forbes was the minister who wasn’t listening.

“When the ferry scandal ran even further aground, calamity Kate was fully on board.

“Kate Forbes has a terrible record in government but she’s now desperately trying to distance herself from that.”