Publication - FOI/EIR release

Westminster funding to assist with COVID-19 pandemic: FOI release

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

Published:
8 Mar 2021
Westminster funding to assist with COVID-19 pandemic: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100136879
Date received: 5 Jan 2021
Date responded: 1 Feb 2021
Information requested

Where has all the money gone sent north by Westminster to help with the covid crisis? Where can I find out what happened to all the money? Where did the SNP get the money for TV ads?

Response

As you may be aware, to date, the UK Government has indicated that it will allocate £8.6 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 the remaining funding for the response to the Covid-19 emergency (circa £2,200 million) will be set out in the Spring Budget Revision later this month. The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Finance Committee on 8 December https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Finance/General Documents/Letter_from_the_Cabinet_Secretary.pdf and again on 28 January providing interim updates on how the remaining consequentials are being allocated.

With regard to your specific point about the advertising campaign, the costs of necessary public health messages, such as the Covid-19 campaign you reference, were met from within Scottish Government budgets.

About FOI

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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
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