THE SNP Government fell £80bn short of its economic targets last year, according to research by the Scottish Conservatives.

The Tories said ministers has missed their own top five economic targets on growth, productivity, exports and investment.

Shadow finance spokesman Murdo Fraser called it a “breath-taking” failure.

The SNP said the Tories had a cheek lecturing anyone on the economy in light of Brexit.

After entering office in 2007, the SNP set a number of economic targets.

A key objective was to increase Scottish productivity, moving the nation into the top quarter of OECD countries.

However Scotland is currently in the third quarter, ranked 19 out of 36 countries, around 24 points below the lowest ranked country in the top quarter.

By the government’s own benchmark, that is equivalent to around £47bn in lower GDP growth and almost £10bn in tax revenue.

A critical target to increase exports by 50 per cent was also missed, falling £27bn short.

Another goal was for Scotland’s rate of GDP growth to be at least that of the rest of the UK, however it was still 1 percent point lower at the end of 2017, a gap worth £1.5bn.

A target to match the GDP of small European countries was also missed, a gap of £4bn.

While a target to increase investment on research and development to the EU average fell short by 0.4 per cent of GDP, or £600m short.

Mr Fraser said: “It is bad enough that the SNP has missed their own targets, but to have missed them by so much is truly desperate.

“These figures lay bare the utter failure of the SNP to grow our economy and support Scottish businesses.

“The SNP’s failure to grow the economy means less money for schools and hospitals.

“And while Scotland’s economy is struggling, the Scottish government deficit is one of the highest in Europe.

“The SNP’s only solution is to raise taxes on hardworking Scots, which will simply make this situation worse.”

A spokesperson for SNP Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “The economy is just one of many areas where the Scottish Government is taking action in the face of poor policy decisions coming from Westminster - even Business Secretary Greg Clark admitted recently that he has responsibility for growth in the economies of all nations in the UK.

“The fact is, since the financial crisis and recession, Scotland’s productivity has outperformed all other parts of the UK outside London and South East England and it is encouraging to see that GDP grew across 2017 - ending the year over 1 per cent higher than the previous year.

“Figures for the first quarter of 2018 show retail sales also grew by 0.5 per cent rebounding from a slight decline at the end of 2017, while manufactured exports also increased by over 7 per cent.

“The UK’s growth of just 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 reflects the effect of Brexit and the weak growth expected for the UK relative to other major economies.”