During ‘Topical Questions’ in the Scottish Parliament today, Tuesday, 5 January, Galloway & West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson asked the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, to consider providing direct financial aid to businesses and households that have been affected by the recent floods across the Region. Following the Q&A session Mr Fergusson said:

“I visited Carsphairn on Monday morning and I have taken a number of calls from businesses and individuals across my constituency who have suffered devastating damage through absolutely no fault of their own. They need financial help, and they need it now, and they are acutely aware that people in similar situations just across the border in Cumbria are receiving that help from the UK Government”.

“I am therefore deeply disappointed by the Deputy First Minister’s response, which was essentially to say that the Government would make money available to the local Council so that it can relieve relevant premises from Council Tax. Every penny is, of course, welcome, but it doesn’t come close to the direct aid that is available South of the Border. Some householders in Carsphairn have now been flooded out of their houses three years in a row, and all the Scottish Government can say is that it will look at Council Tax rebates”.

“While I welcome the Government’s commitment to longer term flood prevention schemes, I cannot welcome its blinkered approach to the current disastrous situation that is affecting too many of my constituents, and I will continue to press the Government on this matter”.

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