How money is allocated and directed by the UK Government to the Scottish Government, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020, has subsequently been spent - with specific reference to “a missing £2.7 billion” reported by the media based on an Audit Scotland report published in November 2020.
The Audit Scotland report, published in November 2020, provided a welcome demonstration of the scale of the Scottish Government response to Covid-19, although crucially this only included funding commitments and spending up to the end of December 2020.
Throughout the pandemic Finance Secretary Kate Forbes regularly updated Parliament on spending - including through Summer, Autumn and Spring budget revisions.
It is not true that funding was unallocated or “misplaced”. Every penny of the £8.6 billion in Covid-19 consequential funding guaranteed to the Scottish Government for 2020-21 was allocated in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in Scotland.
The Scottish Government set out the allocation of this funding at three points during the year as details emerged from the UK government about the Covid-19 funding being allocated to Scotland. These Budget Revisions include Covid-19 funding from the UK government and reprioritisation of existing
expenditure as the Scottish Government addressed Scottish needs in light of the pandemic.
Firstly, the Summer Budget Revision was exceptionally introduced last year, on 27 May, to provide the Scottish Parliament with the opportunity to scrutinise the spending decisions made by Scottish Ministers to that point in time. It included the allocation of just over £4 billion in funding for the Covid-19 response. Full details of the allocations are included in the supporting document which can be viewed at:
The Autumn Budget Revision was published on 24 September, which allocated a further £2.5 billion to Covid-19 related measures. This is available at:
Finally, the remainder of the £8.6 billion received for 2020-21 was allocated in the Spring Budget Revision, published on 25 February and available at:
All three of these budget revisions were approved by the Scottish Parliament following a full scrutiny process by the Finance and Constitution Committee. Final expenditure figures will be published in the Scottish Government's consolidated accounts later this year.
A further £1.1 billion of Covid-19 funding was allocated to the Scottish Government in February 2021, but it was too late to be effectively deployed in the 2020-21 financial year. This was therefore carried forward to 2021-22, and was allocated as part of the Stage 2 and 3 amendments to the Budget Act for 2021-22 alongside further funding for 2021-22 allocated by the UK Government at the Budget in March . This was approved by the Parliament on 9 March and details can be viewed at:
Prior to these amendments, the Scottish Government published details of its proposed spending plans, including the allocation of any Covid allocations, for 2021-22 in the Scottish Budget 2021- 22 published on 29 January and available at:
Decisions on the allocation of any further consequentials will be taken by the next Scottish Government formed following the Scottish election on 6 May.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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