The proposed works at Prestwick airport is ‘nothing but an expensive bribe that will coast every Scottish tax-payer’, according to opponents of Scottish Independence.
The criticism comes as the Scottish National Party pledge a £10m improvement plan to the loss making airport, ahead of the referendum vote.
The Scottish Research Society, (SRS) a group opposed to Scottish Independence issued a statement on Thursday claiming the move was nothing short of bribery.
A spokesman for the SRS said: “Last year the airport was losing £1million a month, there is no way this £10m will ever be paid back, and the SNP are basically throwing good money after bad, all just to grab a view votes.
“Every Scottish tax payer will be subsidising the work even though, like most Scots, they will never use the airport. Basically, not only is the SNP trying to buy votes, it is using tax payers’ money to do so.”
The Scottish government bought the struggling airport for £1 last year amid fears it would be forced to close.
Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood’s infrastructure committee the airport would be operated under public ownership “on a commercial basis”.
She said the Scottish government investment would be made “in the form of loan funding”.
She added that there was “no quick fix solution for Prestwick” and the airport may not be profitable for several years.
The airport had a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in its final full year under previous owners Infratil.
The SRS spokesman added: “The SNP don’t have the bravery to publicise any business plan for this airport before the referendum, as they know it will be wafer thin and the public will see through it.
“If the private sector was unable to turn a profit out of the place, why would any sensible person think the SNP will be able to?
“This is nothing more than a bribe to win votes, and it will cost the Scottish tax payers an awful lot of money.”