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Highland MSP bemoans Holyrood's 'lack of investment'


By Tom Ramage

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Edward Mountain MSP has claimed the First Minister’s Programme for Government continues the SNP Government’s long-term underinvestment in infrastructure in the Highlands.

The First Minister launched the Programme for Government yesterday in the Scottish Parliament.

A new replacement prison for HMP Inverness remains part of the SNP Government’s plans but no funding commitment to start construction has been made.

MSP Edward Mountain: demanding more Highland investment from Holyrood
MSP Edward Mountain: demanding more Highland investment from Holyrood

The First Minister announced a target for NHS Near Me technology, first pioneered by NHS Highland, to become the default option for patient consultations.

Nicola Sturgeon stated: “While we recognise that video consultations will not be appropriate for every patient or situation...we intend to move to the position where ‘Near Me’ is default option for patient consultations. We also intend to develop the use of ‘Near Me’ in social care.”

Reacting, Mr Mountain commented: “Too often this SNP Government makes headline announcements but then fails to deliver them.

"This is yet another Programme for Government which promises a new prison for the Highlands without committing the funding to build it.

"The First Minister is also making promises on widening the use of NHS Near Me despite many Highlanders being unable to use this service because they lack reliable internet. That’s down to the failure of this SNP Government which broke their promise to deliver superfast broadband to all Highlanders by 2021.

"Whether its infrastructure for justice, health or broadband, our region has suffered the impact of the SNP Government’s long-term underinvestment. Highlanders deserve better.”

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