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27/05/20 15:03

COVID-19 budget revision

Pandemic response funding details published.

Spending on measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic has reached just over £4 billion, Scottish Government figures reveal.

The total includes a comprehensive £2.3 billion package of support for business, a £620 million boost for health services and £358 million extra to maintain transport services.

Details are contained in an exceptional summer budget revision laid before the Scottish Parliament today.

The spending has been largely funded by a consequential rise in the block grant of more than £3.5 billion resulting from extra UK Government COVID-19 spending, and £112 million of consequentials received following the last UK Budget. A further £255 million has been re-prioritised from within existing departmental budgets.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“These figures demonstrate the scale and breadth of our response to this unprecedented situation, with support extending into most aspects of Scottish life and every part of our country.

“I must stress that this is a snapshot of spending to date. The situation is still developing and further action will be required.

"We have very limited room for manoeuvre within our own budget, which is why I will continue to make the case to the UK Government for an increase in both funding and flexibility to allow the Scottish Government to respond fully to this crisis.

"Significant budget challenges lie ahead and work is underway to ensure that Scottish Government resources are targeted at stimulating a safe, swift and sustainable recovery for our public services and our economy.

“We have produced this additional budget revision  to provide complete transparency about how our COVID-19 response funding is being spent and where it is coming from. It will be many months before a full picture emerges and a further update on the funding position will be provided in the autumn.”

Background

The budget revision allocates £4.01 billion of expenditure in response to the Covid-19 emergency. This is offset by £255 million in re-prioritisation of existing expenditure and a reduction of £972 million of Non Domestic Rates Income, leaving a net increase of £2.78 billion in the Scottish Government’s 2020-21 budget, from £49.25 billion to £52.03 billion.

Extra spending is spread across eight Scottish Government portfolios. These are Communities and Local Government (up a net £1,64 billion), Health and Sport (up £620 million), Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity (up £230.3 million), Economy, Fair Work and Culture (up £145.8 million), Education and Skills (up £85.8 million), Social Security and Older People (up £38.2 million), Rural Economy and Tourism (up £15.5 million) and Finance (up £5 million).

The Summer Budget Revision document is available online.