Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie has today questioned whether the Scottish Government is being open about potential liabilities attached to a breach of state aid rules in relation to the Dalzell steelworks deal as he pressed for answers over why key information on the scale of liabilities was redacted in a 2016 business purchase agreement, since released to the public.
Mr Rennie said:
"On Wednesday the minister insisted three times that there are no liabilities. Yet in documents released through freedom of information, the government insist on redacting information on these liabilities. Why would the Scottish government go to the trouble of redacting information which they claim does not exist?
"Ministers need to be frank about the potential consequences arising out of this explosive fallout and urgently clarify if this will have any impact on the deal or the jobs in Lanarkshire.
"The Scottish Government’s business reputation is in tatters following a series of industrial intervention catastrophes in Bifab, Fergusons, Lochaber, and their attempted deal with suspect Chinese investment firms.
"This all shows the Scottish Government can’t be relied upon as a good and diligent business partner."
The freedom of information request can be found here with redactions from page 8 onwards.
Addressing the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, Business minister Ivan McKee said "In relation to liability, the whole point of the statement is to say that, as a consequence of the current position, there is no liability to the Scottish Government. I made that very clear in my statement."