Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID 19 pandemic additional funding received: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
11 Nov 2020
COVID 19 pandemic additional funding received: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000103356
Date received: 27 Oct 2020
Date responded: 11 Nov 2020
Information requested

A detailed breakdown of all extra income allocated to the SNP executive in Holyrood by the UK Government, specifically related to COVID19 (regardless of reason). I wish to see, in exact detail, to the last penny, how this money has been allocated, why it was so allocated and when (by date) it was given to recipients.

Response

To date, the UK Government has indicated that it will allocate £8.2 billion of additional funding to the Scottish Government in respect of the Covid pandemic.
The Scottish Government has, so far, revised its budget at 2 points during the year. Firstly, the Summer Budget Revision https://www.gov.scot/publications/2020-21-summer-budget-revision/. This budget revision was exceptionally introduced this year, on 27 May, to provide the Scottish Parliament with the opportunity to scrutinise the spending decisions made to that point in time. It included the allocation of just over £4 billion in funding for the Covid response:-

  • This total included a comprehensive £2.3 billion package of support for business, a £620 million boost for health services and £350 million funds for communities
  • The spending was 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 was reprioritised from within existing departmental budgets, including where Covid-19 has had an unavoidable impact on planned spending.

A further Autumn Budget Revision was published on 24 September https://www.gov.scot/publications/2020-21-autumn-budget-revision/. This revision, allocated a further £2.5 billion to Covid related measures:-

  • An additional £1.8 billion in funding was allocated to Health and Social Care. This is on top of the £620 million additional Health funding which was allocated at Summer Budget Revision, meaning over £2.4 billion of financial support has been provided to the NHS to support its ongoing Covid-19 support.
  • £222 million of additional resource funding was allocated to support our bus, rail and local transport operators.
  • £190 million in additional support was provided for business and the arts.
  • £119 million was added to the Education and Skills budget as part of the Education Recovery package and also ensured free school meals were continued over the course of the Summer Holidays.
  • The budget revision also allocated capital expenditure for the economic recovery stimulus package announced by the Cabinet Secretary of Finance in June.
  • This is being funded through £2.4 billion of Barnett consequentials, £142 million of reprioritisation of existing expenditure, and £30m of Scotland Reserve drawdowns.

Both of these budget revisions have been approved by the Scottish Parliament following a full scrutiny process by the Finance and Constitution Committee..
As you will appreciate Budget Revisions are necessarily a snapshot of the position at that time and this is a continually evolving picture. Additional details on the ongoing allocation of funding for the response to the Covid-19 emergency will be set out in the Spring Budget Revision on 4 February 2021. You should also be aware that while we aim to provide information wherever possible, in this instance, as different mechanisms will have been used to provide support or for support to be accessed, for example, through third parties such as councils or Health Boards, a lot of the detail of actual spend are not held centrally and the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information on when payments were made to recipients would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.

In addition to the scrutiny by the Parliament, Audit Scotland have scrutinised and reported on the Scottish Government’s spend to-date. A copy of their report can be found at the following link:
https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/covid-19.

You may also be interested to note that Kate Forbes has written to the Finance and Constitution Committee offering to send them high level details of the firm budget allocations that have been made since the Autumn Budget Revision in early December. This recognises the unprecedented nature of this budget year and the need for transparency and scrutiny of the Scottish Government's spending decisions.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG