ome people will be rightly uncomfortable over the amount spent on the coronation during a cost-of-living crisis, Scotland’s First Minister has said.
Ahead of the event on Saturday, Humza Yousaf said publicly he hoped costs could be limited while families across the UK are struggling with high prices and inflation.
Speaking after he had been present when the King was crowned at Westminster Abbey, Mr Yousaf said, despite their position on the monarchy, the public will have hoped the price tag could be kept as low as possible.
“I made it pretty clear that I hope that the costs would be kept to a minimum,” the First Minister – an outspoken republican – told the PA news agency during a visit to a community larder in Dundee.
“I think most people watching, whether they’re republicans or whether they’re monarchists, would want the costs kept to a minimum.”
He added: “Yes, I think a number of folk will have felt uncomfortable with the costs that were involved.”
Asked if he was one of those people who took issue with the cost – estimated to be around £100 million – the First Minister refused to be drawn, repeating his assertion that he had said he hoped “everything possible would be done to keep costs down to a minimum”.
As part of the Big Help Out – a UK-wide drive to increase volunteering in the wake of the coronation – the First Minister visited Whitfield Community Larder in Dundee, bringing with him a donation of nappies at the request of staff.
During the visit, he spoke to staff, volunteers and service users at the project, which focuses on maintaining the dignity of users who are struggling to make ends meet.
He was also trained in the use of Naloxone, the nasal spray used to treat people who have overdosed on drugs, and provided with his own Naloxone kit to carry in case it was ever needed.
“People are being urged up and down the country, not just in Scotland but across the UK, to give up a bit of their time during the bank holiday – and hopefully beyond – to volunteer, because we know how important community projects like this one at the Whitfield Community Hub are to helping people, especially those that are the most vulnerable,” he said.
Asked what his government can do to support similar initiatives in the country, the First Minister added: “Funding is really one of the ways that we can help, this particular project is an example of where we’re able to provide some funding.
“That’s from national government, but also local government who are providing funding to our local partners as well to disperse to those community projects, to the third sector, is really important and something I’m very committed to.”