Total government public spending in Scotland: FOI release

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

Information requested

"I understand the Scottish Government are funded for £81bn pre COVID Public spending - Delivering for Scotland

I notice from your budget papers an analysis of around £49bn – Summary Portfolio spending plans, so a £32bn difference.

Tax revenues are quoted at £66bn, is this correct?

Could you please direct me to an analysis that breaks this out or an explanation of the basis of the different figures."


The £81 billion that you refer to is not Scottish Government funding, but rather total public spending for Scotland, as set out in the Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) publication. This covers public spending by the Scottish Government, but also by other public bodies in Scotland, such as spending on state pensions and other forms of social security by the Department of Work and Pensions. It also includes a population share of UK spending, such as debt interest and defence.

Table 3.8 in GERS shows a breakdown of the £81 billion.

And Table A.10 provides a reconciliation between GERS spending figures and Scottish Government budget documents.

The £66 billion refers to all public revenue raised in Scotland, including non-tax revenue, such as student loan income and the operating surpluses of public corporations. A breakdown is provided in Table 1.1.

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