Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19 pandemic funding received from Westminster: FOI release

Published: 9 Dec 2020

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

Published:
9 Dec 2020
COVID-19 pandemic funding received from Westminster: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000108809
Date received: 5 Nov 2020
Date responded: 4 Dec 2020
Information requested

Since 1st March 2020

  • How much money has been received from Westminster to help Scotland deal with the Covid pandemic
  • How much has been spent and on what
  • How much has been allocated but not yet spent and on what
  • How much has yet to be spent
  • How much money has been promised but not yet received from Westminster to help Scotland deal with the Covid pandemic
  • What are these monies allocated to.
  • What is the current estimate of further funding needed to deal with the pandemic
  • What is the current estimate of the benefit to Scotland of the furlough scheme
Response

Taking each of your questions in turn:
How much money has been received from Westminster to help Scotland deal with the Covid pandemic
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.

How much has been spent and on what
How much has been allocated but not yet spent and on what
How much has yet to be spent

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-budgetrevision/.
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.

How much money has been promised but not yet received from Westminster to help Scotland deal with the Covid pandemic
At present the Scottish Government has been allocated £8.2 billion and is not aware of any further funding from the UK Government in respect of Covid-19. Physical cash transfers are made between UK Government and the Scottish Government at set points during the financial year. Not all of the £8.2 billion has been transferred as cash to the Scottish Government bank account at this point. £3.063 billion has been formally allocated at the UK Main Estimate, the remaining is expected to be allocated at Supplementary Estimate later this financial year. The funding allocation confers the right to drawdown cash in line with the Scottish Government’s expenditure against budgets.

What are these monies allocated to
Please see detail above; funds have been allocated through the Summer and Autumn Budget Revisions, and will be set out in the upcoming Spring Budget Revision.

What is the current estimate of further funding needed to deal with the pandemic 
What is the current estimate of the benefit to Scotland of the furlough scheme

As noted above, the Scottish Government has to date formally allocated £6.568 billion of expenditure to dealing with Covid, through the 2020-21 Summer and Autumn Budget Revisions; further funding will next be formally allocated at the Spring Budget Revision.
The furlough scheme (Job Retention Scheme) is the responsibility of the UK Government, and its published statistics (including in respect of Scotland) can be accessed via the following weblink:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics.

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