Scottish Budget 2022 to 2023

The Scottish Budget sets out the Scottish Government’s proposed spending and tax plans for 2022 to 2023, as presented to the Scottish Parliament.

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Annex F Scottish Government Operating Costs


The total operating costs for the Scottish Government are aligned with the portfolio budget that they support. The total operating costs for a portfolio are all the core Scottish Government staff and associated operating costs incurred directly by the portfolio, plus a share of the costs, such as accommodation, IT, legal services and HR that cannot be readily attributed to individual portfolios. The budget for corporate capital projects is allocated entirely to the Finance and Economy portfolio.

Through the operating costs budget, we will continue to ensure that the organisation has the capacity and capability to support the functions of government and the delivery of the priority outcomes and objectives set by Ministers and the people of Scotland.

Scottish Government workforce

The growth in Scottish Government workforce numbers reflects the changing nature of its business, the addition of new powers and responsibilities and continuing to address the practical implications of EU Exit. Since early 2020, the Scottish Government workforce has responded to the continuing impact of, and recovery from, COVID-19, setting up a range of new functions. Workforce numbers are regularly published as part of the Scottish Government Workforce Information publication.

As well as these increases in the Scottish Government workforce, the associated investment in the transformation of our critical systems and infrastructure is a significant driver of increases in operating costs.

Scottish Government operating costs

The total operating cost budget for the Scottish Government in 2022-23 is £670.0 million. This represents 1.2% of the overall Scottish Budget (as measured by Total Managed Expenditure).

Portfolio total operating costs are summarised in Table F.01.

Table F.01 Total Operating Costs by Portfolio
Portfolio 2020-21
Health and Social Care 64.2 84.7 111.8
Social Justice, Housing and Local Government 91.3 94.7 99.0
Finance and Economy 107.9 105.3 107.1
Education and Skills 41.4 43.6 47.1
Justice and Veterans 26.4 28.0 32.1
Net Zero, Energy and Transport 29.8 33.5 42.9
Rural Affairs and Islands 143.8 163.5 180.8
Constitution, External Affairs and Culture 19.8 20.8 22.4
Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery 18.0 24.9 26.8
542.6 599.0 670.0


1. The 2021-22 operating costs budget has been re-stated, to reflect that £4 million was baselined from the Health & Social Care portfolio resource budget to the Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery portfolio operating costs for financial year 2022-23.



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