Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today criticised the government for plans to cut HIV Scotland’s funding while increasing ministerial staffing costs by the same amount. He appealed to new Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to urgently reconsider the decision.
The Scottish Government will cut £270,000 of HIV Scotland’s core funding at the end of July. This week, the creation of additional posts increased the budget for Nicola Sturgeon's cabinet and ministers by £275,000.
Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“It’s ridiculous that the Scottish Government claimed to want a slim and trim cabinet yet now boasts 26 secretaries and ministers.
“HIV Scotland has been unjustly stripped of funding at a really crucial point when HIV infections have surged and awareness remains a priority.
“People will wonder how the First Minister can justify expanding her ministerial team at a cost of £275,000 at the same time as her government removes £270,000 from HIV Scotland. It is an award winning, awareness raising HIV charity left fighting for its very existence.
“HIV in Scotland is growing, 13% of Scots who have the virus don’t know they do and HIV Scotland are best placed to raise public awareness, get people tested and into treatment.
"I appeal to the new Health Secretary to halt these damaging plans and reinstate HIV Scotland’s funding.”