The scale of funding will shock many people, and I think the public will rightly be angry that public funds are being used to encourage such an abhorrent trade.John Finnie MSP
John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (1 Nov) hit out at the Scottish Government and its development agencies after uncovering an £18.5million package of support for the arms trade.
In response to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Finnie, asking for details of public funds supporting development, manufacture or marketing in the arms trade, Economy Secretary Keith Brown revealed that over the last ten years Scottish Enterprise has handed out £15.1million and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £3.4million.
John Finnie, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:
"It is rank hypocrisy for SNP MPs to, as they have, condemn the sale of arms from the UK while at the same time the SNP Government is handing out millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to support that very industry. The scale of funding will shock many people, and I think the public will rightly be angry that public funds are being used to encourage such an abhorrent trade.
"By supporting the making and selling of guns and bombs our enterprise agencies are squandering vital funds. They must rethink their approach and invest instead in meaningful, lasting employment.
"Scottish Government ministers must lead by example. Instead of praising bomb-makers they should face up to modern-day security challenges: conflict over resources, climate change, cyber security and terrorism. They should stop funding outdated and immoral businesses and focus efforts on peace and human security."