The SNP has challenged the UK Tory government to confirm future investment in Scotland’s Islands Growth Deal and commit to 50:50 funding, as previously promised.

The UK government was criticised last year after short changing the Tay Cities Deal to the tune of £50 million.

SNP representatives for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan MSP and Angus MacNeil MP, have now demanded that Scottish Secretary Alister Jack comes clean and confirms whether or not the Tories will match funding from the Scottish Government.

While Westminster appears to have stalled on the issue since last July, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland Councils have been working together to develop a framework of how the funding would be spent.

Alasdair Allan MSP said:  “Since the Islands Growth Deal was officially announced last summer the Tory government have been giving us the silent treatment – no commitment, no timescale and no cash offer.

“The UK government previously said they’d match funding for Scotland’s regions on a 50:50 basis – but we don’t want to end up in the same boat as Tayside, which was diddled out of £50 million from Westminster.

“It’s time for a bit of honesty from the Tories. Have they simply given up on Scotland and abandoned their promises to match investment?”

Angus MacNeil MP added: “The economic prosperity and jobs of islanders is on the line here. This growth deal could help create hundreds of jobs so it’s time that we were given a straight answer.

“Will the Tories put their money where their mouth is and match every single penny that comes from the Scottish Government?

“If not, it will send a clear message to people in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland that the UK Tory government simply doesn’t care about them.”