Scots want their money back

STOCKPILED cash amounting to £15million collected from the Scottish coal levy should be reinvested north of the border, says Holyrood Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
Scots want their money back Scots want their money back Scots want their money back Scots want their money back Scots want their money back


Sadie Davidson

Ewing has pressured the UK government for the money, but said he had yet to receive a “substantive reply” from his UK equivalent.

Ewing raised the issue as the Scottish Open Cast Mining Taskforce, urging the government to hand over the cash to be reinvested into restoring opencast sites in Fife, East Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire.

The Scottish government expects up to 550 jobs will be created if the appropriate funds are available.

Many of the restorations are already underway, but the minister said much more funding was needed to secure Scotland’s coal industry.

Ewing said: “The UK Government’s lack of engagement in this manner is displaying disrespect to the people of Scotland.”

“We have a significant restoration legacy to deal with in Scotland and that money - paid into the central funds in London - has not been used for the industry or affected communities.

“It is now needed to be put to good and proper use to help to restore these sites”, he continued.

Despite not receiving a reply from UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon, a spokesman for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement: “We are engaged with the taskforce and are considering their suggestion that Scottish coal levies contribute towards the restoration of opencast sites in Scotland.”