SNP slammed for NHS funding ‘lie’ with tweet receiving humiliating fact check
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The SNP has been called out as liars after a claim about NHS funding north of the border had to be fact-checked by X.
Yesterday the official Scottish Government account claimed that below-inflation spending increases in England are causing a real-terms cut to funding for the Scottish NHS.
The account claimed: “In the UK Government’s Autumn Statement, only £10.8million of extra funding was provided for NHS Scotland for the next year, a real-terms cut.
“This would fund just 5 hours of NHS Scotland activity in a year.”
The post has now received a humiliating fact check, with X users adding a community note to the post describing the claim as “misleading”.
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Users pointed out that UK Government budgets do not provide funding for specific policy areas in devolved nations like the NHS, meaning any real-term cuts are the decision of the SNP administration.
The fact check added: “The Scottish Government is free to spend the money it receives from UK Government as a result of the autumn statement however it likes.”
The claim was so inaccurate that prominent journalists, including one from the BBC, called out the lie.
Philip Sim, a political journalist at the broadcaster, said the claim was “deserving” of its community note.
He said: “Barnett consequentials are not ring-fenced, that’s the point of devolution.
“Ministers were previously quite careful to say funding *from* health spending, but that nuance seems to have been lost since they came up with this ‘5 hours’ line.”
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Times columnist Alex Massie went further, saying “this is just a lie”.
He said: “The Scottish govt can spend as much on the NHS as it chooses to. And public spending is much higher, per capita, in Scotland than England. It is already equal to 50 percent of GDP.”
The political editor of the Huffington Post, Kevin Schofield, blasted the SNP, saying it is “pretty extraordinary that misinformation like this is being put out on a government account”.
The deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, Meghan Gallacher, also slammed the inaccurate claim as “blatant misinformation”.
The fact the misinformation was posted by the official Scottish Government X/Twitter account, rather than the SNP’s party account, added to the criticism, with many demanding to know why the Scottish civil service is being dragged into sharing an “SNP attack ad”.
A former Conservative candidate demanded to know: “How can the Scottish Civil Service, which sits under the UK Civil Service, put this factually incorrect message on the official govt channel?”
Another user demanded to know why civil servants put out “something so factually inaccurate”, not least given they are “obliged under their code to act impartially”.
The inaccurate tweet has now been up for 20 hours.
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