COWDENBEATH MSP Annabelle Ewing has highlighted the work of local sources in producing Personal Protective Equipment, as she criticised a shortfall in funding from the UK Government for the commodity.

Ms Ewing has slammed a failure of the UK Government to confirm that Scotland will receive its rightful share of money that is to be spent on PPE.

This information was confirmed by the Scottish Government’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, in response to a question from Ms Ewing following his statement on Wednesday on the way in which the Scottish manufacturing base is being mobilised to source support for the NHS.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Ewing said: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Prime Minister, have both repeatedly stated that they will spend billions on personal protective equipment.

"Since additional spending on devolved areas should result in Barnett Consequentials – that is a proportional share of that extra money - we should be expecting hundreds of millions of pounds to come to Scotland to support the sourcing of PPE.

“However, as the Minister confirmed in answer to my question, the UK Government has not, so far, agreed to provide any of the consequentials that are due to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland".

The MSP added: “This is absolutely unacceptable. It is imperative that the Scottish Government receives the budget transfer from the UK Government, that is our due.

“I am pleased to learn that the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, has written to the UK Government underlining that expectation, and I hope that we will hear soon that they have changed their tune.”

However, Ms Ewing went on to praise local efforts to support the NHS with the production of PPE items, saying: “On the subject of PPE, I would like to pay tribute to the tremendous efforts that are being made from all those who have been contributing to the supplies of PPE to local care homes and hospitals.

“From, for example, the staff at Lochgelly High School, to the social enterprise company Re-Employ, based, in Crosshill, individuals and groups are making a fantastic contribution providing items like earsavers for face masks, as well as visors and face masks themselves, for frontline NHS and social care workers.”