UK Markets close in 8 hrs 10 mins
  • FTSE 100

    7,494.13
    -90.88 (-1.20%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    22,263.24
    -451.76 (-1.99%)
     
  • AIM

    1,132.08
    -24.37 (-2.11%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1942
    -0.0077 (-0.64%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3555
    -0.0045 (-0.3321%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    25,871.08
    -577.98 (-2.19%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    806.16
    +563.48 (+232.19%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,397.94
    -84.79 (-1.89%)
     
  • DOW

    34,265.37
    -450.03 (-1.30%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    0 (0)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,836.10
    -6.50 (-0.35%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    27,522.26
    -250.64 (-0.90%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    24,965.55
    +13.25 (+0.05%)
     
  • DAX

    15,603.88
    -308.42 (-1.94%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,068.59
    -125.57 (-1.75%)
     

Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to explain Deloitte contracts

·3-min read
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Deloitte government contracts SNP - Jane Barlow/PA Wire
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Deloitte government contracts SNP - Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to explain why the Scottish government has handed Deloitte the lion's share of multimillion-pound contracts given to private sector consultants.

Almost two-thirds of the money spent by Holyrood on consultants over the last five years has been with Deloitte, according to recently published figures by officials.

Deloitte, widely criticised for charging £1m-a-day to oversee the UK-wide coronavirus test and trace system, received £16m of the £25m spent on large consultants between the 2017 and 2021 fiscal years.

The figures also lay bare a sharp increase in Scottish government spending on consultants over the period, with the total rising from £1.3m to £10.7m.

Deloitte’s more lucrative contracts included receiving £2.7m to help Ms Sturgeon’s administration set up a Scottish National Investment Bank - a state-backed lender whose own chairman has warned that the public funds allocated to it are “insufficient” to meet its objectives.

Liz Smith, the Scottish Conservative shadow cabinet secretary for finance and economy, said: “The fact that one firm has received such a high proportion of SNP Government contracts is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

“This is typical of an SNP Government that goes out of its way to obscure its financial dealings.

“With millions of taxpayer money at stake, the SNP Government must come clean about its procurement processes, and reveal exactly why the majority of contracts are being handed to just a single firm.”

Scottish government spending is part-funded by taxpayers elsewhere across the Union. In the year to April 2021, the devolved government spent £99bn on public services while collecting £63bn in tax revenue - including North Sea oil revenue. This meant £36bn came from UK taxpayers outside of Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon has faced criticism over a number of bungled economic policies that have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

The decision to nationalise the Ferguson Marine shipyard on the Clyde could cost more than £300m to manufacture two ferries linking the Scottish islands with the mainland.

Meanwhile, it emerged in November that Ms Sturgeon’s attempts to woo commodities magnate Sanjeev Gupta risks costing taxpayers £586m.

And The Telegraph reported in August that Scottish ministers handed bosses at Glasgow Prestwick airport bonuses of almost £200,000 to ram through a £1 nationalisation of the operator.

nicola sturgeon deloitte snp government contracts - Edward Allison/Alamy Stock Photo
nicola sturgeon deloitte snp government contracts - Edward Allison/Alamy Stock Photo



Payments to five accountancy firms were disclosed by officials north of the border in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Scottish ministers spent £5.3m on contracts with EY over the five years to April 2021. Some £1.8m was spent with PwC and £1.9m with Grant Thornton.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are alarmed by increasing costs for consultant contracts.

“Bringing in outside expertise is welcome, but the huge fees mean ministers mustn’t become dependent on these very expensive experts. Scottish ministers need to get these big bills under control.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scottish Government contracts are awarded on the basis of price and quality, nothing more, and any suggestion to the contrary is false.

“That is the basis on which all public bodies – including the UK Government – should award public contracts.”

Deloitte did not comment.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting