SNP politicians are accused of being blinded by hostility towards the media for axing newspaper industry rates relief.
The Scottish Government will extend 100 per cent rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation for at least three months from April at a cost of £185m.
To do the same for the newspaper industry would cost around £1million.
In a Scottish Parliament debate led by Graham Simpson MSP this afternoon, he called on the SNP finance secretary to rethink her refusal to extend the “lifeline” to newspapers.
The Scottish Conservatives won cross-party backing to win the parliamentary vote calling for rates relief extension.
Scottish Conservative MSP Graham Simpson MSP said: “The SNP must resist being blinded by their long-held disdain towards awkward questions from journalists.
"From agitating demos outside the BBC; banning journalists from press conference and Nicola Sturgeon's disrespectful conduct during coronavirus briefings, there is a culture of SNP hostility.
“They need to realise that our proud and vibrant newspapers serve local communities and play a crucial role in holding the powerful to account.
“We're all aware of the fast-changing way in which news is consumed by people but challenges to the conventional business model need urgent support, especially in the time when reliable public information is so valuable.
“This government seems eager to pull the rug from under them and exacerbate their difficulties in this time of extreme uncertainty. If newspapers die, democracy dies too. Winning today's vote should force the SNP to think again."