Information relating to the receipt of Barnett consequentials from the UK Government relating to the UKG Household Support Fund in financial year 2022/23 and their subsequent utilisation, with specific reference to furniture.
- How was the funding distributed for tranche two and tranche three? (Please provide values)
- If the government delivered funding to people directly (as opposed to through local authority or third party organisations), how much was provided as targeted grants and how much was available for people to apply to?
- If people could apply for support, how many applications did you receive and how many were successful?
- If any of the fund was used to provide free school meal support during the school holidays, how much was spent on this?
- If funding was provided to local authorities, how much was provided to each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland?
- Did you provide local authorities with guidance on how to spend their allocation? If so, please provide a copy of the guidance.
- (a) If this fund was used to help people with furniture, appliances and furnishings, how much was spent on this? (b) If you did help people with furniture please indicate which furniture/appliance types you provide and whether these are new or preloved (Please specific whether this is as a local authority of national level)
We have provided explanations below in response to each of your queries.
During financial year 2022/23 the Scottish Government received two tranches of Barnett consequentials relating to the UKG Household Support Fund.
The first tranche, for an amount of £40.674 million covering 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022, was confirmed following the UK Government Spring Statement. The second tranche, for £41 million covering 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, was received at the UK Supplementary Estimates. Therefore a total of £81.674 million in Barnett consequentials was received during the 2022/23 financial year.
Barnett consequentials are received by the Scottish Government following UK spending in devolved areas. The consequentials are not required to be spent replicating UK Government policy decisions. It is at the discretion of Scottish Ministers to determine how best to utilise available funding to meet the Scottish Government’s objectives.
Specific information requested:
1. The former Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, undertook an Emergency Budget Review during financial year 2022/23 in response to the economic turmoil faced. The Emergency Budget Review outlined a variety of fiscal measures that were being undertaken in response to the cost of living crisis and was published online here.
Included within the options identified to help support the overall position was the utilisation of the £82 million of UKG Household Support Fund consequentials.
These consequentials were formally allocated as part of the Scottish Government's in-year Autumn Budget Revision ('ABR'). A total of £447 million of Barnett consequentials were allocated as part of the ABR.
The Scottish Government did not implement a like for like equivalent of the UKG Household Support Fund but helped to fund a combination of both in-year pressures and a range of cost of living measures within the ABR. These included implementing the Council Tax reduction scheme, providing £140 million of funding to Local Government to support pay negotiations and providing Health with £41 million to aid the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and to address cost of living issues for health and social care workers.
A copy of the ABR Supporting Document as well as the Guide to the ABR is produced for the Finance and Public Administration Committee and can be found online here and here. These document provide further details of how funding was utilised.
2. Not applicable, the Scottish Government has not allocated the Barnett consequentials received from the UK Household Support Fund on a single measure. As outlined in the Guide to the Autumn Budget Revision, the funding position has been considered in totality and a number of measures applied, alongside funding emerging pressures from within existing budgets.
3. Not applicable, see response to question 2.
4. Not applicable, see response to question 2.
5. Not applicable, see response to question 2.
6. Not applicable, see response to question 2.
7. (a) Not applicable, see response to question 2. (b) Not applicable, see response to question 2.
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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