Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland 2021-22

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s public finances recover from the impact of COVID-19

Scotland’s net fiscal balance has improved rapidly since last year, reflecting the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the phasing out of pandemic health restrictions and support schemes, according to statistics announced today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The improvement was further aided by a recovery in North Sea revenue after energy prices increased from the lows seen during the pandemic.

Net Fiscal Balance 2021-22

This is the difference between total revenue and total public sector expenditure including capital investment. The net fiscal balance:

  • Was a deficit of 12.3% of GDP (£23.7 billion)
  • When excluding the North Sea, was a deficit of 15.7% of GDP (£27.2 billion)
  • For the UK, was a deficit of 6.1% of GDP

Total Public Sector Revenue 2021-22

  • Scottish public sector revenue was estimated as £73.8 billion (8.0% of UK revenue). Of this, £3.5 billion was North Sea revenue. Scottish non-North Sea revenue was £70.3 billion (7.7% of UK revenue)
  • Non-North Sea revenue increased by £8.4 billion in 2021-22, an increase of 13.6% as in particular VAT, non-domestic rates, fuel duties, and income tax and national insurance contributions grew strongly
  • Scotland’s illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue was £3.5 billion in 2021-22, up from £0.8 billion in 2020-21, as energy prices recovered from the falls during the pandemic
  • Scotland’s public sector revenue is equivalent to £13,463 per person, £221 less than the UK average. Excluding North Sea revenue, it is £12,831 per person, £805 less than the UK average

Total Public Sector Expenditure 2021-22

  • Total expenditure for the benefit of Scotland by the Scottish Government, UK Government, and all other parts of the public sector was £97.5 billion. Spending fell by 1.0%, reflecting the phasing out of interventions in response to the pandemic. This is equivalent to 9.2% of total UK public sector expenditure, or £17,793 per person, which is £1,963 per person greater than the UK average.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics. The figures show the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public finances. The final impact of the pandemic is not yet known, and the estimates will continue to be improved in future publications.


The full statistical publication is available on the Scottish Government website

The aim of GERS is to enhance public understanding of fiscal issues in Scotland. The primary objective is to estimate a set of public sector accounts for Scotland through detailed analysis of official UK and Scottish Government finance statistics. The report is designed to allow users to understand and analyse Scotland’s fiscal position under different scenarios within the current constitutional framework.

GERS is a National Statistics publication, which means that it is produced independently of Scottish Ministers and has been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority as being produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. This means the statistics have been found to meet user needs, to be methodologically sound, explained well and produced free of political interference.

More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.


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