THE SNP has launched an attack on a flagship Treasury plan ahead of the Chancellor’s visit to Scotland.

The party has claimed Westminster is “incapable of delivering for Scotland” after around 4000 jobs have been created as part of the UK Government Kickstart scheme.

On its launch, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to create around 250,000 jobs but according to a response by the UK Government to SNP MP Stephen Flynn on July 19 only 44,000 have been filled, and 148,000 created. Of these, 3,830 (8.7 per cent) have been taken up and 10,740 (7.2%) created in Scotland.

However the SNP claim that Scotland has received just 1.5% of the share of jobs, arguing the country should be getting 20,500 new positions based on the original target of 250,000 – which has not yet been met by the Treasury.

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The UK Government said the SNP's claims are wrong and "misleading".

The party has based the 20,500 figure on the logic that Scotland has 8.2% of the total UK population, and so should be entitled to that share of the jobs, while the Treasury says it has exceeded this with the number of jobs filled so far in Scotland.

Mr Flynn said the Chancellor should be “embarrassed” with the progress.

The MP for Aberdeen South and the SNP’s business spokesman, who asked for the figures in the House of Commons, said: “These figures are an embarrassment for Rishi Sunak and they show, once again, how Westminster is failing Scotland.

“The Tories may boast about a so-called ‘union of equals’ – but that is exposed as hollow bluster by these figures showing that Scotland has just 1.5% of the total Kickstart jobs promised by the Chancellor last year.”

He hit out at the Treasury for not yet creating the 250,000 jobs announced as part of a package of measures to boost the economy during the pandemic, and said it showed “Westminster is simply incapable of delivering for Scotland.”

HeraldScotland: Chancellor Rishi Sunak during the launch of the Government's £2 billion Kickstart scheme aimed at helping young people into work as the labour market remains strangled by the coronavirus pandemic, during a speed mentoring session for youn

Mr Flynn said: “Rishi Sunak promised this scheme would deliver 250,000 jobs, but in Scotland only 3,830 jobs have started.

“Given young people are disproportionately employed in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, it is shocking that ten months into the scheme they are nowhere near to filling the 250,000 jobs promised.”

The MP asked the Treasury about the number of jobs created as part of the scheme across the country.

The response, from junior Department of Work and Pensions minister Mims Davis last week, showed around a quarter (11,390) of those taken up so far had been in the administration sector, 7,040 in retail and sales, 4060 in the computing and digital industry and 4510 had been filled in ‘creative and media’ posts across the country.

Other positions have been created and filled in healthcare, animal welfare, teaching, hospitality, and engineering.

Since the answer was given, it is understood that the total number of jobs filled is now at 50,000 and around 4,400 jobs have been taken up in Scotland.

Mr Flynn said the UK Government was “dragging its feet on tackling youth unemployment” and pointed to the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee scheme, adding: “Westminster isn't working for Scotland or its young people, who deserve better than this. It is only with full welfare and employment powers through independence that we can deliver a strong and equal recovery for Scotland, and more opportunities for our young people.”

A UK Government spokeswoman said “It’s wrong and misleading to make this comparison, as the number of young people on the Kickstart Scheme in Scotland currently exceeds the population share.

“The scheme is one part of our wider Plan for Jobs which is helping to get young jobseekers across Scotland into work, with over 3,000 moving off Universal Credit since August.”