Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts: year ended 31 March 2021

Annual report of the consolidated financial results of the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies and the Crown Office, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Audit Scotland report on the accounts is also linked and is unqualified.

Performance Report

About the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is the devolved government for Scotland and has a range of responsibilities that include: the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation.

Some powers are reserved to the UK Government. These include: immigration, the constitution, foreign policy and defence. Further changes to the responsibilities devolved to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament have resulted from the Scotland Act 2012 and the Scotland Act 2016.

After a Scottish Parliamentary election, the First Minister is formally nominated by the Scottish Parliament and appointed by Her Majesty The Queen. The First Minister then appoints the Scottish Ministers to make up the Cabinet with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament and the approval of The Queen.

Scottish Cabinet Ministers and their responsibilities

The Cabinet is the main decision-making body of the Scottish Government. It is made up of the First Minister, all Cabinet Secretaries, the Minister for Parliamentary Business and the Permanent Secretary.

The First Minister appoints a Cabinet Secretary for each of the core portfolios described below, as well as additional Ministers to support the work of the Scottish Cabinet, and two Law Officers (Lord Advocate and Solicitor General for Scotland).

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
First Minister

Head of the Scottish Government: responsible for development, implementation and presentation of Government policy, constitutional affairs, and for promoting and representing Scotland at home and overseas.

Following the Scottish Parliamentary election on 5 May 2016, the First Minister announced a new Scottish Cabinet, identifying education and the economy as priorities, along with the reform and improvement of public services and the ability to respond to challenges such as climate change in the years to come.

The Cabinet Team members serving during 2020-21 are as follows:

John Swinney MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Responsibilities include:
school standards, quality and improvement
school infrastructure & staffing
educational attainment, qualifications and closing the attainment gap
National Improvement Framework
teaching profession
behaviour and measures to combat bullying
modern languages and the Gaelic and Scots languages
Named Person
Skills Development Scotland
non-advanced vocational skills
historical abuse enquiry

Humza Yousaf MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Responsibilities include:
courts, sentencing
justice system and criminal law procedure
violence reduction
criminal justice social work, victims, witnesses, female offenders
human rights
prisons and prisoners
reducing reoffending
youth justice

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People

Responsibilities include:
welfare policy, social security
measures against poverty (with CSCLG)
Best Start Grant (replacing the UK Government's Sure Start Maternity Grant)
Funeral Expense Assistance (replacing the UK Government's Funeral Payment)
Carers Allowance (at which point we will stop paying Carers Allowance Supplement)
Young Carers Grant
Personal Independence Payments
Disability Living Allowance
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Attendance Allowance
Severe Disablement Allowance
Cold Weather Payments
Winter Fuel Payments

Kate Forbes MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Responsibilities include:
budget bill
managing the public finances
fiscal policy and taxation
fiscal framework
Scottish budget, budgetary monitoring and reporting
government procurement
National Performance Framework
Cross-government coordination of wellbeing policies
local government finance
public bodies policy
Scottish Futures Trust
public sector pay
Digital Economy
Government statistics

Roseanna Cunningham MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

Responsibilities include:
climate change and environmental protection
Crown Estate
environmental and climate justice
flood prevention & coastal erosion
land use and land reform
animal welfare
wildlife crime
water quality and Scottish Water

Fergus Ewing MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism

Responsibilities include:
agriculture and crofting
fisheries and aquaculture
food and drink
Highlands & Islands Enterprise
South of Scotland Enterprise Agency
rural Scotland
animal health

Jeane Freeman MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

Responsibilities include:
NHS and its performance, staff and pay
Health care and social integration
patient services and patient safety
primary care, acute services, elective centres, Implementing the 2020 Vision, national clinical strategy, quality strategy and national service planning
allied Healthcare services
carers, adult care and support
child and maternal health
medical records, health improvement and protection

Aileen Campbell MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government

Responsibilities include:
social justice
tackling inequalities
measures against poverty (with CSSS)
place and place-making
community empowerment, community planning, local governance review and democratic renewal
regeneration including business improvement districts
third sector and social economy
refugees and asylum
religious and faith organisation
medium and long term housing strategy

Fiona Hyslop MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture

Responsibilities include:
Scottish National Investment Bank
Scottish economy
inclusive growth and fair work
trades unions
Scottish Enterprise – national enterprise agency
trade and inward investment
creative industries
architecture and built heritage
co-ordination on bringing major events to Scotland
National Records
financial services

Michael Russell MSP
Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs

Responsibilities include:
The UK's exit from the European Union
international relations
Government and parliamentary business
Constitutional Relations and intra-governmental affairs

Michael Matheson MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

Responsibilities include:
transport strategy, analysis and planning
public transport and active travel
bus policy and national concessionary travel
rail and rail infrastructure – ScotRail
maritime policy including ports and canals
aviation including HIAL
low carbon transport and infrastructure
roads and road safety
major infrastructure projects
infrastructure investment policy/Infrastructure Investment Plan/Infrastructure Commission
City and Regional Growth Deals

The Cabinet is supported by the following ministerial team:

Graeme Dey MSP:
Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans

Kevin Stewart MSP:
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning

Paul Wheelhouse MSP:
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Ash Denham MSP:
Minister for Community Safety

Maree Todd MSP:
Minister for Children and Young People

Jamie Hepburn MSP:
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

Joe FitzPatrick MSP:
Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing (until December 2020)

Mairi Gougeon MSP:
Minister for Rural Affairs (until December 2020); Minister for Public Health and Sport (from December 2020)

Clare Haughey MSP:
Minister for Mental Health

Angela Constance MSP:
Minister for Drugs Policy (from December 2020)

Christina McKelvie MSP:
Minister for Older People and Equalities

Ivan McKee MSP:
Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance

Jenny Gilruth MSP:
Minister for Europe and International Development

Ben Macpherson MSP:
Minister for Public Finance and Migration (until December 2020); Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment (from December 2020)

Richard Lochhead MSP:
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

Law Officers during 20-21 (unchanged from 2019-20)

James Wolffe QC
Lord Advocate

Alison Di Rollo
Solicitor General

Further information on Cabinet and Ministerial responsibilities is available from the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government websites, at and respectively.

The Civil Service and Government Officials

The First Minister leads the Scottish Government, with the support of the Scottish Cabinet and Ministers. The civil service helps the government of the day develop and implement its policies as well as deliver public services. Civil servants are accountable to Ministers, who in turn are accountable to Parliament.

The Permanent Secretary leads the civil service in Scotland and supports the government in developing, implementing and communicating its policies; and is the principal policy adviser to the First Minister and Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet. The Permanent Secretary is also the Principal Accountable Officer with responsibility to ensure that the government's money and resources are used effectively and properly.

The government is structured into a number of directorates and their related public bodies. Directorates and agencies are managed by six Directors General (DGs).

Scottish Government Senior Management Team (Corporate Board)

The Scottish Government Senior Management Team are responsible for ensuring that the Scottish Government is organised and managed in the most effective way to support Ministers in the implementation of their policies. Further information on the management structure of the Scottish Government is available on the Scottish Government website at

Directors General in 2020-21 were:

Leslie Evans
Permanent Secretary

Lesley Fraser
DG Organisational Development and Operations

Liz Ditchburn
DG Economy

Malcolm Wright OBE
DG Health & Social Care (until 22 April 2020)

Elinor Mitchell
Interim DG Health & Social Care (from 23 April 2020 to 10 January 2021)

Caroline Lamb
DG Health & Social Care (from 11 January 2021)

Paul Johnston
DG Education, Communities & Justice until 14 February 2021 transforming to DG Communities

Joe Griffin
DG Education and Justice (from 15 February 2021)

Alyson Stafford CBE
DG Scottish Exchequer

Ken Thomson
DG Constitution & External Affairs

Katrina Williams
DG External Affairs (from 1 November 2020)

Directors serving as members of Corporate Board during 2020-21 were:

Barbara Allison
Director of Communications, Ministerial Support and Facilities (until 11 November 2020)

Julie Humphreys
Interim Director of Communications and Ministerial Support (from 12 November 2020 to 31 March 2021)

Nicky Richards
Director of People

Gordon Wales
Chief Financial Officer (until 10 July 2020)

Kerry Twyman
Interim Chief Financial Officer (from 11 July 2020 to 22 November 2020)

Jackie McAllister
Chief Financial Officer (from 23 November 2020)

Ruaraidh Macniven
Solicitor to the Scottish Government

Madhu Malhotra
Director of Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights (from 14 December 2020)

Non-executive members of the Corporate Board during 2020-21 were:

Janet Hamblin (until 31 August 2020)
Linda McKay
Ronnie Hinds
Hugh McKay
Annie Gunner Logan

Other non-executive directors:

Nichola Clyde
Ben McKendrick
Neil Richardson
Jim Robertson (Deputy Chair of Scottish Government Audit and Assurance Committee)
Fiona Ross
Jayne Scott (from January 2021)

The Non-Executive Directors provide direct, external, support, challenge and guidance to their "paired" Directors General (DGs) and senior staff in relation to the delivery of their portfolio-based risk, assurance and internal controls framework, and participate in the Corporate Board, one or more of the formal sub-Boards, DG Assurance meetings linked to their paired DG(s) and Scottish Government Audit and Assurance Committee. Ronnie Hinds, Non-Executive Director, was the Chair of the Scottish Government Audit and Assurance Committee for the 2020-21 period covered by the Accounts - 2020-21. Jim Robertson, Non-Executive Director, was the Deputy Chair of the Scottish Government Audit and Assurance Committee for the same period. Subsequent to the end of the financial year one member of the Corporate Board has departed the Scottish Government.

Register of Interests

Any member of the Corporate Board whom held company directorships and other significant interests during 2020-21 were:


Lesley Fraser,
Director General Corporate:
Shares with RBS.

Alyson Stafford CBE,
Director General Scottish Exchequer:
Trust Investments with Fidelity via Origen Financial Services.

Paul Johnston,
Director General Communities:
Stocks and shares held with Virgin Money.

Nicola Richards,
Director of People:
Shares held with Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity.

Non-Executive Directors:

Janet Hamblin: Partner of RSM;
Member of the Audit Committee of Merchant Company of Edinburgh;
Chair of Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association Audit and Risk Committee;
Board Member of the Lyceum Theatre (departed August 2020).

Ronnie Hinds:
Chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.

Hugh McKay:
Non-Executive Director at Lloyds Development Capital;
and Non-Executive Director - Trustee at The Chartered Bankers Institute (non-remunerated position ended December 2020).

Annie Gunner Logan:
Director and Company Secretary at Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS).

Performance Overview

In the Service of Scotland – our vision for the Scottish Government

In June 2021 the vision for the Scottish Government was launched. We put the people we serve at the heart of everything we do. We use digital thinking and approaches to strengthen our work and provide a better service for everyone. We are driven by our values, always searching for new ways to learn and improve. All in the service of Scotland.

Our five value principles describe how we will all act day in, day out, in the service of Scotland:

Integrity - Our actions reflect the values of the Civil Service:


  • We are impartial, demonstrate high ethical standards, respect, protect and fulfil human rights and uphold the rule of law.
  • We speak up for what is right, even when it feels difficult.
  • We are evidence based, open, transparent and honest.
  • We build relationships based on trust.

Inclusion - We have a respectful work environment which includes everyone.


  • We listen to the voices of everyone and respect uniqueness.
  • We value equity and create a sense of belonging.
  • We continually strive to build a more diverse workforce, representative of the communities we serve.

Collaboration - We work with others to realise Scotland's full potential.


  • We work with others to improve our effectiveness and make things happen.
  • We share connections, ideas and knowledge across boundaries.
  • We actively listen and respond to the needs of our citizens, partners, Ministers and colleagues to co-produce a healthier, safer and more prosperous country.

Innovation - We test different approaches and develop new solutions.


  • We are flexible with our approach, seeing opportunities and pursuing them.
  • We embrace ambiguity and uncertainty and have a positive attitude to change.
  • We are professional and skilled.
  • We are efficient with the money we spend, accountable for the decisions we make and take balanced risks.

Kindness - We care and show kindness towards people and the

natural environment.


  • We put the wellbeing of the people of Scotland and our colleagues at the centre of what we do.
  • We are mindful about our impact on future generations.
  • We treat everyone with empathy, compassion and care.

How the Scottish Budget is funded

There are a number of sources of funding to support the expenditure planned and approved by the Scottish Parliament in the Scottish Budget Act.

The Scottish Consolidated Fund was established the Scotland Act 1998 operates in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The Scottish Consolidated Fund receives, from the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, sums which have been voted by the UK Parliament for the purpose of "grant payable to the Fund". Funding is drawn down by the Scottish Government from the Scottish Consolidated Fund to support the spending plans laid out in the draft budget.

The primary receipts to the Scottish Consolidated Fund are: the block grant from HM Treasury; revenue collected by HMRC on behalf of the Scottish Government under the provisions for Scottish Income Tax; Devolved taxes collected by Revenue Scotland which are currently Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT); and borrowing.

The block grant from UK Government is allocated to the Secretary of State for Scotland through the approval of the UK Parliament, and forms part of the UK public expenditure control regime. This requires the Scottish Government to plan, monitor and report its spending against the control aggregates set by the UK Parliament and HM Treasury alongside those set by the Scottish Parliament.

The Scotland Act 2016 empowered the Scottish Parliament to set Scottish Income Tax rates and bands. During 2020-21, £11.4 billion in income tax revenues derived from Scottish Income Tax were assigned to the Scottish Administration and paid to the Scottish Consolidated Fund. Identification of Scottish taxpayers and administering the tax are matters for the UK Government and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Under devolved powers from the 2012 Scotland Act, devolved taxes in respect of LBTT and SLfT are managed in Scotland. A total of £624 million has been collected in respect of LBTT and SLfT, £133 million below the Budget 2020-21 forecast of £757 million. £517 million was collected for LBTT and £106 million for SLfT.

LBTT outturn was affected in the first half of 2020-21 due to restrictions on buying property with non-residential LBTT remaining weak over the year due to the ongoing economic situation. In the second half of the year, the Scottish Government introduced a lower (but temporary) nil rate band which suppressed revenues. For SLfT, landfill volumes fell sharply in the first quarter as facilities operated under restriction and business waste volumes fell.

This shortfall has been managed within the in-year budget. The block grant has been adjusted to take account of these locally raised tax receipts.

Revenue Scotland was established by the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014 to administer and collect both fully devolved taxes. Revenue Scotland is responsible for preparing an account of the devolved taxes (The Devolved Taxes Account). The taxes collected by Revenue Scotland are paid to the Scottish Consolidated Fund. The Devolved Taxes Account and the Scottish Consolidated Fund Account are prepared and published separately and can be accessed online at and

From the 2016 Scotland Act, the Scotland Reserve, effective from 1 April 2017, provides the Scottish Government with a limited tool to manage the smoothing of all types of spending and to assist with the management of tax volatility and determine the timing of expenditure.

As further powers are devolved to Scotland, and the ability to use the existing fiscal levers to influence the funds available is increasing, the impact of accurate tax forecasting becomes greater. The Scottish Fiscal Commission was established in June 2014 as a non-statutory body to provide independent scrutiny of Scottish Government forecasts of receipts from taxes devolved to Scotland. By March 2016 the Scotland Act 2016[1] devolving more fiscal powers to Scotland was passed, and the associated Fiscal Framework[2] was agreed between the Scottish Government and UK Government. The Fiscal Framework changed the remit of the Scottish Fiscal Commission as reflected in the Scottish Fiscal Commission Act 2016[3] which received Royal Assent on 14 April 2016. Further information about the Scottish Fiscal Commission can be found at

Further information about the Scottish Budget setting and authorisation process can be found within The Scottish Budget 2020-21 and in the Government Finance section of the Scottish Government website, which includes the financial reports and accounts[4].

The total budget approved by the Scottish Parliament includes activities not included in these accounts. Note 22 to these accounts provides a reconciliation to the total budget.

The fiscal activity of the Scottish Government is described in a suite of accounts information: the Scottish Consolidated Fund account, incorporating additional reporting on the use of borrowing powers and the related Devolved Taxes Account report on the funding available to the Scottish Government in the financial year; the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts, the annual accounts of the other bodies within the Scottish Administration and of the bodies funded directly from the Scottish Budget together report on the use of resources authorised by the Scottish Parliament for the financial year.

Accounting Boundary

These accounts reflect the consolidated assets and liabilities and the results of all entities within the Scottish Government consolidation accounting boundary as required by and defined in the Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM). This consists of ten internal Portfolios, supported by Administration, their Executive Agencies (each linked to a specific portfolio), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the NHS Bodies responsible for the planning, promotion, commissioning and the delivery of healthcare. The portfolio analysis in these accounts reflects the portfolios designated by the First Minister from 27 June 2018. The consolidation boundary includes the following:

Finance Portfolio

Executive Agencies: Scottish Public Pensions Agency (

Accountant in Bankruptcy (

Health and Sport Portfolio

Other Consolidated Bodies: The NHS Bodies in Scotland (

Mental Welfare Commission (

Education and Skills Portfolio

Executive Agencies: Disclosure Scotland (

Education Scotland (

Student Awards Agency Scotland (

Justice Portfolio

Executive Agency: Scottish Prison Service (

Social Security and Older People Portfolio

Executive Agency: Social Security Scotland (

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Portfolio

Rural Economy and Tourism Portfolio

Executive Agency: Scottish Forestry (

Economy, Fair Work and Culture Portfolio

Communities and Local Government Portfolio

Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Portfolio

Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Portfolio

Executive Agency: Transport Scotland (

Other Consolidated The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Bodies: (

In addition to inclusion within these consolidated accounts, the executive agencies and other bodies detailed above also publish separate accounts providing greater detail about their income and expenditure and assets and liabilities. The accounts can be accessed at the websites noted above.

The Scottish Government is also the sole shareholder of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, David MacBrayne Ltd, Highland and Islands Airports Limited, Scottish Futures Trust, Prestwick Holdco Limited and Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd, and sponsor of a number of executive, advisory and tribunal Non-Departmental Public Bodies. These bodies are regarded as related parties with which the Scottish Government has had various transactions during the year, but do not fall within the Scottish Government consolidation accounting boundary. Further details of Scottish Public Bodies are available on our website[5].

The financial statements of NHS Boards include NHS Endowment Funds. These Endowment Funds are Registered Charities with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and they are also required by OSCR to prepare audited financial statements. NHS Endowment Funds are not part of the Scottish Government accounting boundary, and therefore they have not been included in Scottish Government consolidated accounts.

These accounts report actual outturn compared to the budget authorised by the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government also routinely reports to Parliament each year on the Final Outturn for the Scottish Administration in an additional statement. This brings together the audited information from the bodies within the Scottish Administration to show this against the Budget limit authorised by the Scottish Parliament.

The Budget Framework

The Scottish Government set out its spending plans for 2020-21 in February 2020 in The Draft Budget[6]. Approval for a detailed budget for 2020-21 was given by the Parliament in March 2020 in the Budget (Scotland) Act 2020. The annual Budget is refined through in-year budget revisions, Parliamentary approval for which is given by statutory instrument. There are usually two revisions, Autumn and Spring. There was an additional Summer Budget Revision[7] for 2020-21 to take account of the COVID-19 related budget measures.

The Scottish Government's Purpose

The Scottish Government's purpose is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The Programme for Government

Through the Programme for Government[8] the plans for the year are set out, including the Bills to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament. On 1 September 2020, the First Minister set out a new Programme for Government for 2020-21 Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland with the focus on ensuring Scotland's economic, health and social recovery from the pandemic.

National Performance Framework

Through the National Performance Framework[9] (NPF), the Government sets out:


The framework is for all of Scotland. The Government aims to:

  • create a more successful country;
  • give opportunities to all people living in Scotland;
  • increase the wellbeing of people living in Scotland;
  • create sustainable and inclusive growth; and
  • reduce inequalities and give equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress.


The values guide the Government's approach to:

  • treat all our people with kindness, dignity and compassion;
  • respect the rule of law; and
  • act in an open and transparent way.

National outcomes

To help achieve its purpose, the framework sets out 'National Outcomes'.

These outcomes describe the kind of Scotland it aims to create.

The outcomes:

  • reflect the values and aspirations of the people of Scotland;
  • are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and
  • help to track progress in reducing inequality.

These national outcomes are that people:

  • grow up loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential;
  • live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe;
  • are creative and their vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely;
  • have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy;
  • are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society;
  • value, enjoy, protect and enhance their environment;
  • have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone;
  • are healthy and active;
  • respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination;
  • are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally; and
  • tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally.

National Indicators

The framework measures Scotland's progress against the national outcomes. To do this, it uses 'National Indicators'.

These indicators give a measure of national wellbeing. They include a range of economic, social and environmental indicators.

More information about performance against outcomes can be found at National Indicator Performance[10].

Delivering and Performing for Outcomes

As set out above, the NPF is for all of Scotland, not just the Scottish Government, and the NPF website provides an overview of how Scotland is progressing towards the national outcomes through a range of social, environmental and economic indicators[11]. Performance is assessed as improving, maintaining or worsening based on the change between the last two data points of an indicator and includes time series and equality data where available[12]. A range of performance information is also published on the Scottish Government website[13].

2020-21 was an exceptional year, largely dominated by the organisation's response to COVID-19. Over the course of the financial year, the Government moved from the early phase of the pandemic response to an increasingly more complex set of responses. As well as supporting Ministers to respond to the pandemic and then begin to safely ease restrictions where possible, the organisation was faced with the emergence of game-changing new variants of the virus, significant new public health measures for international travel and managed quarantine, and the ongoing challenges of supporting Ministers to make sound decisions at pace and consistent with the Government's COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making[14]; including through the lenses of the Four Harms: direct harm to people's health; the wider impact on health and social care services and the impacts on non-COVID-19 health harms; harm to our broader way of living and society; and harm to the economy.

Organisational focus shifted swiftly through an agile response, which saw a significant redeployment and mobilisation of staff towards the COVID-19 response. As a result, money and resources were directed differently to the projections set out in the 2020-21 Budget, and key deliverables changed from those originally planned.

In addition, the transition period following the UK's departure from the European Union ended on 31 December 2020. The run-up to, and immediate aftermath of, the end of the transition period created a particular period of pressure from concurrent risks; the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and EU Exit compounded further by the usual winter pressures on the health service and on transport networks. The interaction of COVID-19 and EU Exit impacts resulted in disruption and supply chain issues and priorities were adjusted to enable the Government to respond to these unprecedented circumstances.

Whilst more detail is set out on a portfolio by portfolio basis in the Performance Analysis below, some of the key projects and programmes enabled by Scottish Government funding in 2020-21 include:

  • Roll-out of the vaccination programme and the Test and Protect system, supported by the proximity tracing app 'Protect Scotland'; additional support to meet COVID-related costs associated with additional staffing, Personal Protective Equipment, testing and social care support; the prioritisation and maintenance of essential services; wellbeing support for staff; the opening and operation of the Louisa Jordan hospital; the implementation of Re-mobilise, Recover, Re-design: The Framework for NHS Scotland to support Health Boards safely restart services; £500 "Thank you" payments to every health and social care worker in Scotland; continued progress on the delivery of National Treatment Centres to increase capacity and a new Centre for Sustainable Delivery to pioneer and deliver new, better and more sustainable ways of delivering services and improving access for patients; and a new National Drugs Mission led by the Drug Deaths Task Force.
  • Launch of the National Transition Training Fund, supporting people aged 25 and over to develop the skills required to move into sectors with the greatest potential for future growth and job opportunities. Also launched the Young Person's Guarantee, with the aim that all 16 to 24 year olds will have the opportunity to study; take up an apprenticeship, job or work experience; or participate in formal volunteering. In addition, the Employability Fund[15] (EF) provided 7,955 starts in 2020-21.
  • Delivery of £568 million in economic development support by Scottish Enterprise, helping 4,000 businesses and safeguarding more than 70,000 jobs. Over 6,900 real living wage jobs secured and £75 million invested into early stage companies.
  • Almost £3.4 billion of social security support, including the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment[16], Child Winter Heating Assistance[17], and the Job Start Payment[18]. Evaluations of benefits indicates that clients tended to find payments came at a timely moment and enabled them to meet the financial commitments of both caring and childcare in a better way. £19.2 million was provided for the Coronavirus Carer's Allowance Supplement which meant around 83,000 carers in Scotland received up to £690 more than equivalent carers in the rest of the UK.
  • Continued investment in the Scottish Attainment Challenge[19] saw 97% of schools benefit from Pupil Equity Funding. Also enhanced provision of free school meals during school closures and over the summer, and supported digital learning for the most vulnerable through the distribution of over 72,000 Chromebook devices and 14,000 connectivity packages.
  • Launch of 'Connecting Scotland' which has provided 60,000 people/households who are digitally excluded and on a low income with a package of a device (iPad or Chromebook), internet connection (4G MiFi), training and support to get online.
  • Continued funding for non-domestic energy efficiency and heat programmes, enhanced funding for low carbon infrastructure investment programme and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) to support future heat decarbonisation and green recovery from the pandemic.
  • Investment in temporary active travel infrastructure, through the Spaces for People initiative, which allowed more people to walk, wheel and cycle safely in local communities. Significant investment in Zero Emission buses through new subsidy scheme and taskforce, helping safeguard jobs across Scottish supply chains; and expanded electric vehicle charge points across all parts of Scotland.

Impact of COVID-19 on National Outcomes

As outlined above, COVID-19 was the most significant issue and area of focus across the Scottish Government in 2020-21. Over the course of the reporting year, progress was made in tackling the pandemic in Scotland. This was achieved through six main tools: the roll-out of the vaccination programme; the use of Test and Protect; applying proportionate protective measures (rules and guidance) to suppress transmission of the virus; measures to manage the risk of importation of the virus; supporting individuals, businesses and organisations to adhere to protective measures; and providing care and support to mitigate the harms of the crisis. The success of the vaccination programme in particular has helped to shift the balance of harm, reducing the direct harm of the virus and the number of people getting severely ill and dying.

Notwithstanding this progress, it is clear that the pandemic has had significant and wide-ranging impacts on Scotland's health, economy and society and across the national outcomes. As outlined above, progress towards these outcomes is tracked through a set of national indicators, but the necessary delay between data collection and publication means they do not yet reflect the still unfolding impacts of COVID-19. However, Scotland's Wellbeing: The Impact of COVID-19[20]. published in December 2020 and relevant to this reporting period, draws on a range of more timely evidence sources, analysis and insight, with the aim of reporting openly and transparently on how COVID-19 has affected progress towards Scotland's national outcomes.

Evidence suggests that the health, economy, fair work and business, and culture outcomes were particularly negatively impacted, and that labour market impacts are likely to have a negative impact on the poverty outcome in the longer term. Education and children outcomes are also likely to be impacted negatively, but these impacts are likely to take longer to emerge. The picture is more mixed for communities, human rights, environment and international outcomes. Each has been impacted in both positive and negative ways, with the eventual impacts less clear and, in some cases, with limited data to draw upon.

A key finding is that the COVID-19 impacts have been – and are likely to continue to be – borne unequally and are, as has already been witnessed in some cases, expected to widen many existing inequalities. It has produced disproportionate impacts for some groups that already face particular challenges, including households on low incomes or in poverty, low-paid workers, children and young people, older people, disabled people, minority ethnic groups, and women. Further evidence, analysis and insight on the impact of COVID-19 across the national outcomes, in addition to its potential future impacts, can be accessed via the full report[21].

To address the emerging harms and impacts described above, the Scottish Government has responded quickly throughout the pandemic to put in place extensive support and mitigations. In terms of health and care services specifically, record funding was provided to support NHS Scotland, enabling the provision of emergency, urgent, mental health, maternity, and vital cancer care, support for social care, and maintained COVID-19 capacity and resilience. Innovative approaches to service design were also rolled out, including the use of digital delivery and remote consultations, which have the potential to increase accessibility and transform care experiences going forwards.

Beyond this, specific support was put in place to help those most at risk of COVID and its wider impacts. In addition to the key projects and programmes already detailed above, this included the provision of specific funding through the Winter Plan for Social Protection to promote equality and tackle social isolation and loneliness – including through digital inclusion. Additional support and funding was provided to schools and families, particularly with safety mitigations aligned to published guidance; support to accelerate learning recovery, including recruitment of additional staff, additional digital devices and the provision of family support. Specific support was also made available to students facing hardship. In addition to the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, the Child Winter Heating Assistance, and the Job Start Payment described above, investment in the Scottish Welfare Fund was increased in response to the pandemic. Specific financial support was also provided to businesses across Scotland, including via Business Support Fund Grants, Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund and Strategic Framework Business Fund – and emergency funding was made available to the culture, heritage and events sector.

Despite the extensive support measures and mitigations that have been put in place to address the harms of the crisis, the impacts of COVID continue to be felt acutely by many individuals, businesses and other organisations across Scotland. Whilst there is considerable uncertainty about the long term impacts of the pandemic, they are likely to be significant.

Leading Scotland safely through the pandemic remains the priority for the Scottish Government and, as the organisation maintains that resilience against COVID‑19 and other pressures, there is also an increased focus on recovery – with a particular focus on tackling inequality and disadvantage. The strategic objectives and accompanying actions set out within the Programme for Government 2021-22: A Fairer, Greener Scotland[22] and the COVID Recovery Strategy: For a Fairer Future[23], reflect and demonstrate the Scottish Government's commitment to the long term vision in the National Performance Framework. They are centred around addressing the systemic inequalities made worse by COVID; rebuilding a stronger, more resilient health and care system centred on people; renewing the drive to eradicate child poverty and improve living standards; ending Scotland's contribution to climate change; accelerating inclusive person-centred public services; and building a wellbeing economy which secures sustainable, inclusive growth for everyone, in all parts of Scotland.

Performance Analysis

The following sections outline the initial strategic policy aims and the key deliverables of each of the twelve Ministerial portfolios (as at April 2020) across 2020-21, with an indication of how priorities – and progress against them – have been affected by COVID-19. Where possible, key deliverables have been broken down by Level 2 budget[24] lines; and some examples of how each portfolio has intended to contribute towards the national outcomes have been provided.

Further to this, a list of references to relevant and detailed performance information already published elsewhere is included for each portfolio. Due to the timing of publications, some of the performance reports signposted below will refer to the previous financial year.

Delivery and Performance by Portfolio

Health and Sport

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[25] were: to strengthen support in shifting the balance of spend from hospitals towards community services and supports the commitment that, by the end of this Parliament, more than half of spending will be in community health services; to improve primary care, mental health and social care, and to improve access to services, with an emphasis on prevention and providing care closer to home; to improve access to hospital-based services through the Waiting Times Improvement Plan and Access Collaborative programmes; to invest in health and social care infrastructure in support of the Scottish Government's strategic priorities of economic growth, climate change and the place principle; to contribute to reducing health inequalities through the establishment of Public Health Scotland and investment to reduce harm caused by poor diet, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; and to promote a more active nation, investing in people, places and spaces providing sport and physical activity to provide opportunities for all to participate.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Health; Economy; Poverty; Communities; Children and Young People.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Whilst the NHS prioritised and maintained essential services, such as urgent, emergency, mental health, maternity and vital cancer care, the pandemic had significant impacts on the delivery of key priorities, particularly regarding non-urgent elective procedures and screening, and primary and community care services, such as general practice, pharmacy, dentistry. Over £2.9 billion has been allocated to the Portfolio to support the pandemic response. Public health measures to address the pandemic and support the health and social care system were prioritised, particularly in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Test and Protect measures, and vaccinations.

2020-21 Deliverables

The focus has been on the response to the pandemic. The NHS was put on an emergency footing, and the Government has been working with NHS Health Boards to support the initial response, ensure workforce sustainability and wellbeing, and take action on the recovery, remobilisation and reform of services. Additional funding of £1.7 billion was allocated to NHS Boards and Integration Authorities to meet COVID related costs such as additional staffing, PPE, test and protect, social care and remobilisation costs. A further £1.2 billion was utilised against a range of programmes, including a successful roll-out of the Test & Protect and vaccination programmes, £500 "Thank you" payments to every health and social care worker in Scotland, and the successful opening and operation of the Louisa Jordan hospital.

Throughout the challenges of COVID-19, work has continued to deliver on the policy aims set out in the budget. In the face of unprecedented pressure, access to essential NHS and social care services has been maintained, and improvements taking place in line with national plans and strategies. Since the implementation of Re-mobilise, Recover, Re-design: The Framework for NHS Scotland in May 2020, Health Boards safely restarted services, and activity rates across most specialities have increased since April-May. Investment has continued in health and social care infrastructure, and progress has been maintained on the delivery of National Treatment Centres to increase capacity, and a new Centre for Sustainable Delivery was established to pioneer and deliver new, better and more sustainable ways of delivering services and improving access for patients. Work also progressed on tackling health inequalities through actions within the Tobacco Control Action Plan, the Alcohol Framework, and a new National Drugs Mission led by the Drug Deaths Task Force.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Health: Support Scotland's public health system to respond to the pandemic, including primary, secondary and community health care services; provide continuous support for the social care sector; support improvement of population health through work to address drug, alcohol and substance abuse issues. Despite the pandemic challenges, continue to support the mental health[26] and wellbeing of the population.

Children and Young People: Support child wellbeing and happiness, from healthy start[27] to provision of quality health services, including addressing health inequalities and contributing to The Promise & Children's Rights.

Human Rights: Provide services to achieve positive impacts for people with protected characteristics and/or those experiencing socio‑economic disadvantage. Respond to the Independent Review of Adult Social Care (IRASC) and the preventative and proactive care programme, taking a human rights based approach.

Secondary Outcomes

Economy: COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and treatment to support the gradual reopening of society and the economy in a safe way. Contribute to the reablement of wider population workforce through fast and effective treatment. Help drive economic growth in related sectors through purchasing power of the health and social care sector.

Poverty: Provide health services free at the point of use according to individual need, including free prescriptions; help tackle underlying health and wellbeing inequalities; and improve population health. Help address a root cause of poverty through the Drugs mission and the response to IRASC.

Communities: Provide services at a local level through investment in Integration Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships and investment in primary and community health care services.

Education: Increase educational attainment through strengthening of children and young people's health resilience, improving mental health and eliminating health inequalities. Upskilling and professionalization of the social services workforce.

Fair Work and Business: Pay fair wages to health and social care sector employees, and have fair and progressive workforce policies. Support Scottish businesses through fair procurement practices.

Environment: New care models (e.g. NHS near me) to help contribute to reduced energy consumption and emissions.

Other Relevant Performance Information

NHS Scotland and Integration Authorities consolidated financial reporting 2020-21

Care Inspectorate Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Performance Reports from Integrated Authorities

Sports Scotland Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Independent Living Fund Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Communities and Local Government

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The portfolio's overarching aims in 2020-21[28] were to: tackle inequalities and reduce child poverty; create a fairer Scotland; support regeneration and inclusive growth; ensure provision of accessible, affordable, energy‑efficient housing; and to promote community empowerment and the participation of people in all aspects of Scottish life.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Communities; Children and Young People; Economy; Environment; Fair Work and Business; Health; Human Rights; and Poverty

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Response to the pandemic required reprioritisation and pausing of some key work programmes. For example, in Housing, funds were diverted to community and household support; the Schools project was delayed; the programme to Transform Planning in Practice was paused; Building Standards paused recruitment and progress on the Futures Board programme was therefore impacted. COVID consequentials were used for the Supporting Communities Fund; Winter Plan for Social Protection; £50 million Wellbeing Fund; £40 million Supporting Communities Fund; £20 million Third Sector Resilience Fund; and £15 million Ethical Lenders Fund.

2020-21 Deliverables

Central Government Grants to Local Authorities: Delivered the Vacant & Derelict Land Fund (VDLF), enabling Local Authorities to tackle long-term vacant land and deliver regeneration in disadvantaged areas.

Connected Communities: £550,000 funding to third sector organisations supporting asylum-seekers and people subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) during the pandemic as part of the Immediate Priorities Fund. Six organisations received funding to respond to people's immediate needs, focusing on access to essentials including food, clothing, travel and digital access. Outreach and advocacy support also supported people's understanding and access to essential services as well as maintaining support networks.

Governance Election and Reform: £500,000 grant to the Improvement Service to support Shaping Places for Wellbeing; funded a study on Participatory Scotland; and supported Compassionate Communities Scotland.

Housing: Funded the Affordable Housing Supply programme, delivering 6,466 homes, and provided loan support to 38 SME homebuilders. Continued investment in tenant rights (including additional protections for renters and guidance for landlords through the pandemic); mitigated the bedroom tax and supported homelessness interventions, including Housing First and the Third Sector Homelessness Fund.

Local Government: Additional £1.2 billion funding for welfare support, free school meals, education recovery and a lost income scheme. Weekly grant payments were front-loaded and £972 million of Non-Domestic Rates Income (NDRI) replaced.

Planning and Building Standards: Maintained the planning system[29]; published safer spaces guidance[30] to support relaxation of restrictions; published Scotland's National Planning Framework 4 Position Statement for a long term spatial plan for Scotland; launched the Digital Transformation Delivery Programme[31] which aims to deliver the digital tools, technology and data to make planning more inclusive and efficient and implemented priority measures from Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, strengthening community and individuals' involvement. Also used digital planning tools to support mapping and tracking the package of support for communities and for vaccine distribution. Introduced new fire safety standards and progressed the energy standards review.

Social Justice, Regeneration and Scottish Child Payment: Created pandemic support payments; supported organisations to coordinate the local response to COVID[32]; and delivered the Winter Plan for Social Protection. Funding to make period products available continued.

Third Sector: Grants of £22.7 million were provided to 1,323 third-sector organisations to cover core costs, safeguarding over 14,000 jobs. The Adapt and Thrive programme provided business support, whilst the Scottish Ethical lenders fund provided awards to Credit Unions and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes:

Communities: Safer Public Spaces guidance set out design principles for safer urban centres and green spaces during the pandemic. Strengthen local people's involvement in planning, for example a new right for communities to produce their own local place plans. Improve safety in buildings by enhancing the Building Standards system and introducing fire safety standards for sprinklers. Housing guidance and close working with landlords through the pandemic ensured the continuation of essential housing services and supported more tenants to remain in their homes and work with their landlords to address any changes in circumstances. Homelessness interventions led to local reports of very low numbers of people sleeping rough in urban centres.

Children and Young People: Help low-income households with children by creating two pandemic payments, and support families to take part in social activities. Strengthen children and young people's involvement in planning, along with commitments to open space and play, via The Planning Act.

Economy: Support locally developed, place based regeneration, and local construction and employment. The SPRUCE fund supported 17 projects, with estimated development costs of over £309 million, creating more than 6,000 jobs. Assistance to SME house builders supported the sector through lockdown periods.

Poverty: Provide support on emergency food, social isolation and loneliness, and a range of direct payments, to those most at risk including people experiencing homelessness and housing crisis, and people in fuel poverty. Planning's digital transformation programme[33] aims to identify priorities for investment to address inequality.

Education: Pandemic support to help allow participation in educational opportunities on a fair and equal basis, e.g. Connecting Scotland, addressing the poverty related attainment gap.

Health: Embed 20 Minute Neighbourhoods into wider policies and strategies; and use the planning system to support greenspace, active travel and access to food production, and community growing.

Human Rights: Fund work to promote inclusion, to counter radicalisation and hate crime, and to embed mainstreaming equality, inclusion and human rights across policy and practice.

Secondary Outcomes

Environment: Planning policies aim to balance development aspirations with environmental protection and enhancement, to help make the most of natural resources and respond to the climate emergency.

Fair Work and Business: Maintain the planning system to support development and help maintain confidence for investment, which can then help support business and job creation.

Culture: Providing families with higher household incomes could provide greater resources to engage with cultural activities. Planning aims to support and reflect Scotland's diverse cultures, with the historic built environment and provision of cultural facilities reflected in casework decisions.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Local Government Finance Statistics

Local Government Benchmarking Framework Overview Report 2019-20

Local Government Finance Circular 05/2021 - Annex G

Accounts Commission Local Government in Scotland Overview 2021

Individual Councils Best Value Assurance Reports

Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates) Accounts

Non-Domestic Rates Revaluation Appeals

Scottish Housing Regulator Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Affordable Housing Supply Programme; Outturn Report 2019-20

Housing Statistics Scotland - Affordable Housing Supply

Architecture and Design Scotland Annual Review 2020

Architecture and Design Scotland Corporate Strategy for 2021-31 and Corporate Plan for 2021-24


Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[34] were: to have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy; to have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone; to be open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally; and to be well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society. Priorities were expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Economy, Fair Work and Business, Communities.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Planned projects in Finance were delayed; Digital Strategy outturn was higher due to launch of the Connecting Scotland programme; and salary and operating costs in Scottish Public Pensions Agency Admin were lower due to a recruitment freeze and changes in ways of working.

2020-21 Deliverables

Digital Strategy: The Connecting Scotland programme has provided 60,000 people/households who are digitally excluded and on a low income with a package of a device (iPad or Chromebook), internet connection (4G MiFi), training and support to get online. The digital strategic programme is building new and effective operating platforms, opening up the potential for government to consult more widely, share openly and involve people across Scotland in shaping how we grow and thrive in a Digital world. With a focus on modern government and organisations working together to adopt shared scalable and flexible systems and processes, reducing unnecessary duplication of work, improving the way data is used, and services are delivered to Scotland's people.

Finance: Delivered the Programme for Government 2020-21; Scottish Budget 2021-22; The Scottish Government's Medium Term Financial Strategy; The Infrastructure & Investment Plan for Scotland; The Capital Spending Review; Scotland's Wellbeing Report – the impact of COVID-19; Tax Policy; and allocation of £8.6 billion of additional funding to tackle COVID-19.

Scottish Public Pensions Agency Admin: Maintained effective services for members, meeting all key performance indicators, and assured colleague safety and well-being while working remotely. Provided expert policy advice to stakeholders to support the development of the Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, which afforded many frontline medical workers the assurance of working with pension benefits secured irrespective of their status in the pension scheme. Worked with Scottish National Investment Bank, delivering advice regarding future investment taking into consideration complex investment and pension landscapes (SPPA Website[35]).

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Economy: The Finance portfolio is responsible for key functions of government around performance; public finances; fiscal policy; taxation; procurement; and digital strategy and digital economy. It coordinates an outcomes-focused approach across the Scottish Government and Scotland more widely, including through delivery of statutory responsibilities for the National Performance Framework (NPF). Analysis of Income Tax policy for 2020-21 found that around 56 per cent of Scottish income taxpayers paid less tax than people earning the same in the rest of the UK in 2020‑21, and that, taken together with the changes in the UK-wide Personal Allowance, the Scottish Government's Income Tax policy choices over the course of the last parliament (2016-17 to 2021-22) have been redistributive and protected low income earners.

Communities: By providing those at clinical risk from COVID-19 with a device, internet access and skills, the Connecting Scotland programme aimed to help keep individuals safe by reducing the need for face to face contact. Online networks are an important way for communities to engage and builds resilience, supports relationships and fights loneliness. Along with COSLA, the Scottish Government also published an analytical report on Scotland's wellbeing[36], drawing together the impacts of COVID-19 on the national outcomes. It set out the unequal impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having across individuals and communities in Scotland. The report is intended to support decision-makers across all sectors in Scotland faced with having to make decisions in order to reset progress towards the National Outcomes.

Fair Work and Business: Provision of policy advice in support of developing the Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme; and future infrastructure investment with the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB).

Other Relevant Performance Information

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2020-21

Scottish Government Procurement Annual Report 2020

A changing nation: how Scotland will thrive in a digital world - (

Education and Skills

Policy Aims in 2020-21 Draft Budget

Key priorities for 2020-21[37] were: improving numeracy and literacy; raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap; promoting health and wellbeing, securing rights for children and young people through the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; commencing work to transform the care system based on the findings of the independent Care Review; expanding funded early learning and childcare to 1140 hours a year; improving skills and employability; and maximising the contribution of colleges and universities to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Education; Children and Young People; Poverty; Economy; Fair Work and Business; International; Health; Human Rights

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

COVID-19 had a significant impact on activity, prioritising focus on managing school closures and developing a blended learning approach, supporting mental wellbeing and the impact of isolation, and protecting the most vulnerable children and their families. Additional funding to support the COVID response included £23.5 million within the Winter Plan for Social Protection; £50 million for education recovery; £130 million for additional teachers and support staff; £25 million financial support for the childcare sector; £30 million to support digital learning, £2.5 million for science centres, and £95 million for university research. Lockdown restrictions impacted services such as children's hearings, and demand-led services such as safe-guarding. Whilst the statutory entitlement to 1140 hours of funded ELC was delayed by one year to take account of the impact of the pandemic on construction activities and recruitment, implementation of the expansion continued throughout the year. Higher Education impacts included extensions to student courses; restricted summer employment; and chargeable student accommodation unable to be used.

2020-21 Deliverables

Learning: Recognised the enduring importance of ensuring that Scottish education delivers both excellence – in terms of children and young people acquiring a broad range of skills and capacities at the highest levels – and equity – so that every child and young person can thrive and have the best opportunity to succeed. In response to the pandemic, introduced a flexible staffing fund that enabled local authorities to recruit 1,400 additional teachers and 250 additional support staff in schools by November 2020. Provided additional funding to maintain these staff and support additional recruitment over the 2021-22 academic year. Enhanced focus on addressing the poverty related attainment gap by providing additional flexibility over use of Pupil Equity Funding, and allocated £12.6 million to Local Authorities to provide free school meals over the summer, further supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Children and Families: The Promise Scotland was established and will be supported by £2 million annually to oversee implementation of the conclusions of the Independent Care Review. The Promise Partnership Fund was launched, with funding of £4 million annually over five years, to deliver change and better support children, young people and families in or on the edges of care. The UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill and the Redress (Scotland) Bill were passed by the Scottish Parliament[38]. A Winter Plan for Social Protection package was provided to support vulnerable children and young people during the pandemic, a national children's hearings advocacy scheme was introduced, and engagement and consultation on child protection guidance progressed and has since been published. The COVID-19 Children and Families Collective Leadership Group[39] was established and took action to address emerging issues from COVID affecting children, young people and families with vulnerabilities.

Childcare sector, including the Early Learning and Childcare Programme: Targeted financial support was made available to childcare providers in the private, third and childminding sector to help them to mitigate the impact of COVID. This included over £22 million of support being made available to day care of children services through the Transitional Support Fund (in Autumn 2020) and the Temporary Restrictions Fund (to cover the restrictions in early 2021). Up to £3.2 million was made available to childminding services through the Childminding Business Sustainability Fund in March 2021.

Central Government Grants to Local Authorities: Over £126 million of Pupil Equity Funding to support closure of the attainment gap; Specific Revenue Grant funding of £487 million for the expansion of funded Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) to 1140 hours; and support to 27 local authorities to deliver Gaelic education at all levels.

Support to colleges and universities: Recognising the valuable role that universities and colleges play in the lives of learners and the economy, the Scottish Government supported them through the pandemic to adjust and operate in a safe way.

Higher Education and Student Support: An additional £24.2 million available in Higher Education hardship fund; funding made available to facilitate delayed study completion; and additional places available as a result of SQA exam scoring. The support provided to students over the course of the pandemic has been substantial with now over £96 million provided via hardship funding, digital access, mental health support, and for student associations.

Advanced Learning and Science: Ensured science centres could continue online operation during the pandemic.

Scottish Funding Council: Additional funding for universities and colleges to address COVID costs; and for the Young Persons Guarantee, Transition Training Fund, and support for mental health and wellbeing.

Skills and Training: Established Lived Experience Panels to support No One Left Behind[40] approach; new stakeholder groups including the Employability Operational Group; Developing Young Workforce (DYW) School Coordinators to support summer leavers; continued to provide, through Skills Development Scotland's core grant, work based learning opportunities e.g. modern, foundation and graduate apprenticeships, and introduced a suite of support measures to support apprentices and employers through the pandemic; supported learners to upskill and reskill through Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) and the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (co-funded with EFWC portfolio) which extended its reach to SMEs; and additional funding to Inspiring Scotland, supporting 16-17 year olds.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above helped progress towards the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Education: Continued investment in the Scottish Attainment Challenge – and the flexibility provided in the use of this funding to mitigate the impact of the pandemic – was instrumental in supporting not only the educational attainment of children and young people, but also their health and wellbeing and access to learning (including digital). During the pandemic there were many examples of innovative and collaborative practice, with the most successful interventions resulting in fewer exclusions from school better punctuality, improvements in behaviour at school, healthy family eating, increased pupil motivation and engagement and increased resilience among pupils. The gap in the proportion of young people in education, employment and training has narrowed year-on-year between 2017 (11.6 % points) and 2021 (9.3% points). Contributing to this were: national training programmes such as apprenticeships and Career Information, Advice and Guidance, funding to support the re-opening of schools and help mitigate loss of learning; the Education Maintenance Allowance to help more young people remain in post-16 school education; and continuing investment in the Scottish Attainment Challenge[41] which saw 97% of schools benefit from Pupil Equity Funding.

Children and Young People: The Scottish Government committed to Keeping the Promise and establishing cross-government action which will, over ten years, transform how Scotland supports families, children and young people in or on the edges of care, enabling access to the help families need, where and when they need it and significantly reducing the number of children and young people living away from their families by 2030. Around 130,000 children are expected to benefit from the expanded Early Learning and Childcare[42] provision in 2021-22. An evaluation strategy for the expansion of 1140 hours will set out how it contributes to its intended outcomes and baseline data collection has been completed. Play and Parenting initiatives, such as Bookbug and Outdoor Community Play Fund, supported children's health and wellbeing; and third sector organisations were supported to deliver vital services through the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund. To keep children safe, the Partnership Drugs Initiative supported families affected by substance misuse and there was enhanced enforcement activity due to the heightened risk of online child sexual abuse and exploitation due to COVID. Funding through the winter support package to support children and families social work services in areas experiencing significant challenge in meeting demand during the pandemic.

Economy: Young people were supported and prepared for the world of work through the DYW programme, which contributes to providing a skilled generation. The No One Left Behind programme supported those experiencing barriers and structural inequalities in the labour market; and the Employability Fund[43] (EF) provided 7,955 starts in 2020-21. Funding of science centres allowed investment in university research and knowledge exchange.

International: Work exploring ways to re-associate to Erasmus+, and to develop a Scottish Education Exchange Programme, aim to contribute to help ensure Scotland remains an attractive destination for international students, and that Scottish staff and learners can gain valuable experience abroad. Work was initiated on Scotland's International Education Strategy, which aims to support international education as being a high priority, and encourage international students to apply to study in Scotland.

Secondary Outcomes

Poverty: Expansion of high quality ELC[44] supports good outcomes for children over the long term and reduces costs for families, enabling parents to work, train or study.[45] The Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF) supports low income parents to access and progress in employment. Enhanced provision of free school meals during school closures and over the summer; supported digital learning for the most vulnerable through the distribution of over 72,000 Chromebook devices and 14,000 connectivity packages; and aimed to reduce inequalities in access to outdoor experiences via the £1 million outdoor clothing fund[46].

Human Rights: The incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law to the maximum extent possible is critical to ensuring children's rights are at the centre of all decision making in Scotland. Steps to address and acknowledge historical child abuse in care were significantly progressed with the passing of the Redress (Scotland) Act, and the Advance Payment Scheme, which continued throughout the pandemic, providing recognition and payments to a further 173 survivors during the 2020/21 period. Work continued to tackle discrimination via the work of the Gender Based Violence in Schools Working Group; working to implement the LGBT Inclusive Education recommendation; guidance to support Transgender Young People in schools; establishment of the Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education[47] Programme; and investment in a rights-respecting preservation of legal protections in most urgent children's hearings cases.

Fair Work and Business: The National Standard for funded ELC supports fair work practices, meaning all staff providing funded ELC are required to be paid the real living wage.

Health: Support improvements in early child health and working to reduce future childhood obesity through package of measures to support maternity, neonatal and IVF services during the COVID response. Support the provision of counselling through schools to meet children and young people's mental health and wellbeing needs quickly and locally; this was also supported via the £0.6 million funding for Social Workers to gain additional mental health qualifications. Aim to provide better access to 'big issue' health-related information from reliable, independent sources via funding for science centres.

Culture: Funding towards Gaelic and Scots to help sustain language communities in rural areas while increasing the opportunities for those interested in living their lives through the Gaelic language.

Other Relevant Publications

Scottish Funding Council Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Education Scotland Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21

SQA Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Closing the poverty-related attainment gap: progress report 2016 to 2021

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Annual Impact Report 2020-21

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Delivery Progress Report (September 2021)


Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main policy priorities for 2020-21[48] were to: enable communities to be safe and supportive, where individuals exercise their rights and responsibilities; enable people, economy and infrastructure to respond to major risk, recover from emergencies and adapt to emerging threats; modernise civil and criminal law and the justice system to meet the needs of people in Scotland in the 21st century; work with others to improve health and wellbeing in justice settings, focusing on mental health and substance use; quickly identify offenders and ensure responses are proportionate, just, effective and promote rehabilitation; improve the experience of victims and witnesses, minimising court attendance and supporting them to give best evidence; use prison only where necessary to address offending or to protect public safety, focusing on recovery and reintegration.

Priorities were expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Human Rights; Communities; Economy; Children; Health; Environment; Fair Work and Business; International

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

The pandemic resulted in delays across the criminal, community and civil justice systems. For example, criminal court business was significantly reduced, criminal justice social work capacity was impacted by restrictions and there was a reduction in the demand for legal aid. COVID regulations made it difficult for many grant-funded projects to deliver services. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reduced its preventative and training activities, and the Scottish Prison Service saw the shutdown of estate construction works. There were some increased costs, for example for PPE, investment in court technology and remote jury centres.

2020-21 Deliverables

The justice organisations continued service provision while adapting to working in a COVID

environment. They reprioritised, refocused and paused elements of work as required.

Central Government Grants to Local Authorities: Continued with a reduction in capacity.

Community Justice Services: Improved the effectiveness and capacity of community justice services.

Criminal Injuries Compensation: Contributed to costs of compensation claims.

Judiciary: Supported the salaries of judicial office holders and staff and running costs for the Court of the Lord Lyon, and the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Legal Aid: Provision of Legal Aid, including grant funded programmes, and a network of board employed solicitors; contribution to the Renew, Recover and Transform Programme.

Police and Fire Pensions: Funded the pension costs of retired police and fire officers.

Police Central Government: Supported police transformational change, Lord Bracadale's Public Inquiry and transition to the new emergency services telecommunications system.

Safer and Stronger Communities: Implementation of the recommendations of the Dame Elish Angiolini report; expanded the reach of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and the work of Medics Against Violence; and supported a range of anti-sectarianism initiatives.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: Maintained front line services at normal confidence levels throughout the pandemic, and provided support to partners.

Scottish Police Authority: Ensured the delivery of a proportionate and effective policing response to the pandemic.

Scottish Prison Service: Maintained safe and stable prison operations, and progressed the construction of new prison estate.

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service: Supported the continuing vital work of courts and tribunals, including increased use of remote and online capacity, and the introduction of remote jury centres.

Miscellaneous: The miscellaneous budget included support for a range of costs, including funding for victims organisations.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Communities: Help create an inclusive and respectful society in which all people and communities live in safety and security. The Recover, Renew and Transform (RRT) programme is responding to the impacts of COVID-19 to ensure a fair justice system that takes account of the health, safety and wider interests of all. Investment in a range of system‑wide measures to tackle the causes of crime which are often rooted in inequality thus reducing offending and re‑offending.

Human Rights: Investment in systems of justice to support Human Rights outcomes: the right to liberty and security of person, the right to a fair trial and the right to freedom from punishment without law.

Secondary Outcomes

Economy: Investment in justice systems supports an environment where sustainable economic activity can prosper, enabling communities and businesses to thrive.

Poverty: Poverty is a key driver of crime and the consequences of crime such having a criminal record or having spent time in prison can then exacerbate poverty further. Scotland's prison population predominantly reflects our most socially deprived communities with individuals from the 10% most deprived areas over represented in prison arrivals by a factor of three. By tackling the causes of crime and through work to prevent offending and reoffending – which are often rooted in inequality and risk factors such as deprivation, adverse childhood experiences and addiction and health problems – through an increased emphasis on prevention and rehabilitation, the Justice portfolio plays a key role in breaking cycles of poverty.

Children and Young People: Civil courts and tribunals play an important role in the protection of children and vulnerable young people. Investment to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) aims to have an ongoing and positive impact on young people.

Health: Supporting the health and wellbeing of those in custody, and those returning from prison to their communities.

Environment: Supporting decarbonisation via investment in a fleet of electric and lower-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure across the justice system.

Culture: Support for the arts and culture through the reinvestment of money from proceeds of crime into activities through the Cashback for Communities[49] Programme.

International: Contribute to global safety and wellbeing through Police Scotland's International Development Strategy, which aims to enhance policing nationally and internationally.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Scottish Police Authority Annual Report and Accounts

Policing Performance Framework and Annual Assessment

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Annual Performance Review

Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) Annual Report and Accounts

Scottish Legal Aid Board Annual Report and Accounts

Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[50] were: ensuring sustainable and inclusive economic growth across all of Scotland by providing the transport, energy and digital infrastructure and connectivity that communities need to deliver real economic and social benefit, whilst protecting the climate and environment, and improving lives across urban, rural and island communities.

Priorities were expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Economy; Fair Work and Business; Environment; Communities; Poverty; Health; Human Rights; International.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the immediate priorities in supporting the public transport system in the face of significantly reduced passengers and consequential reduction in revenue, coupled with increased costs incurred to help make public transport safe. Necessary restrictions in place to combat the pandemic continue to present a significant challenge for Scotland's overall connectivity as we continue to plan our economic recovery. The Transport Transition Plan, launched in May 2020 is a continuously evolving document to map out and monitor the transition from the COVID-19 pandemic. The emerging risks relate to the continuing consequences of the transition for how we continue to adapt to achieve priorities. The Phase One recommendations – contained within the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 – focus on accelerating economic recovery and lay the groundwork for an inclusive, greener transport network. There was slippage on major projects in a number of areas including Rail Services, Air Services, and Motorway and Trunk Roads, due to COVID-19, and delays to demand-led schemes in Energy and delays in finalising the Green Datacentres and Terrestrial/International Connectivity strategy. There was re-profiling of Ferry Services loan-funding and of support for the Glasgow Subway Modernisation Programme. Travel restrictions led to reduced demand on the Air Discount Scheme and demand for Concessionary Travel Schemes was lower. COVID Support for Bus operators and light rail operators was provided.

2020-21 Deliverables

Digital Connectivity: Continued delivery of future-proofed full fibre broadband networks, through £600 million Reaching 100% (R100) programme contracts and the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS). Secured Scotland's fair share of UK Government funding to push full fibre and gigabit capable networks further into rural Scotland, and bringing 4G services to up to 55 rural, remote and island communities, reducing the digital divide.

Cities Investment and Strategy: Full Deals agreed for Ayrshire, Tay Cities, and Borderlands, with Tay Cities Deal enabling draw down of over £20 million. Heads of Terms agreed for Moray, Argyll and Bute and the Islands, enabling progression to Full Deal, and funding quantum agreed for Falkirk Deal. Successful adaptation of key projects to respond to COVID, including a job matching portal in Edinburgh/SE Scotland, connecting people who had lost their jobs with opportunities in sectors facing shortages (e.g. care); and development of a STEM 'kit in a box' to support remote teaching.

Energy: Continued funding for non-domestic energy efficiency and heat programmes, including SME loan fund, Non Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE) and District Heating Loan Fund. Enhanced funding for low carbon infrastructure investment programme, LCITP to support future heat decarbonisation and green recovery from the pandemic. Continued delivery of flagship CARES programme, and small scale renewables including wave and tidal and energy technology innovation.

Rail Services: Since April 2020, Scottish Ministers have put in place emergency temporary variations to both the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper Franchise Agreements. These variations temporarily transfer revenue and cost risk to Scottish Ministers, vary certain performance benchmarks and suspend some contractual obligations. These agreements have helped to secure the sustainability of Scotland's rail services. Progress on Zero emission Hydrogen Train project at Bo'ness, and rail freight being utilised to support modal shift. Rail Services De-carbonisation Action Plan and Team Scotland Strategy and Execution plan published.

Concessionary Fares and Bus Services: COVID support grants enabling essential bus services to continue during the initial lockdown and then to increase capacity as restrictions eased to meet safely people's needs to travel despite severely depressed commercial revenue. Towards the end of the financial year, around 80% of pre COVID service kilometres were operated, carrying around 35% of pre COVID patronage. The concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people continued to support the travel costs of these groups, who tend to be particularly dependent on bus services. An Order was made in March 2021 to establish a new free bus scheme for young people under the age of 19, in order to encourage more sustainable travel choices and help address child poverty and improve social, economic and educational opportunities. The Bus Partnership Fund opened to bids for investment in bus priority infrastructure in November 2020 and temporary infrastructure was supported via the Bus Priority Rapid Deployment Fund throughout the year. COVID Support Grant to support the Bus Industry; Bus Priority Rapid Development Fund; and Bus De-carbonisation working group.

Active Travel, Low Carbon and Other Transport: Enabled significant investment in Zero Emission buses through new subsidy scheme and taskforce, helping safeguard jobs across Scottish supply chains; expanded electric vehicle charge points across all parts of Scotland, including through network project (Project Pace); supported home charge point installations and purchasing of electric vehicles through Interest free Low Loans to consumers and businesses; rolled out investments in two new innovation centres to support drivetrain developments alongside targeted support for new zero emission mobility products, services and supply chains.

Motorways and Trunk Roads: A9 dualling between Luncarty and Birnam; A9 Berriedale Braes Improvement; progress on A77 Maybole by-pass and A92/A96 Haudagain Improvements projects; £15 million in landslide mitigation measures at the Rest and Be Thankful; and continued delivery of road and bridge maintenance works despite impact of the pandemic.

Ferry Services: Support for Lifeline Ferry Services.

Air Services: Provided Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) with an additional £13.8 million in subsidy over and above the original allocation for 2020-21. Additional funding ensured that, despite a significant reduction in commercial revenue as a result of the dramatic drop in passenger numbers, services were maintained throughout the period to support the communities they serve and protect jobs at HIAL's airports. During the pandemic, the Scottish Government contracted Loganair to operate a skeleton air service that ensured all island airports retained at least one connection to a mainland airport.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Economy: Investing in education to train Scotland's future workforce in low carbon skills, and decarbonisation programmes to contribute to sustainable economic growth through the use of Scottish supply chains. Improving digital connectivity to contribute to delivering sustainable inclusive economic growth by providing digital access for disadvantaged groups to products and services. Investing in cities and regions to boost local economies, focusing on inclusive growth and aim to ensure that all sections of the community benefit from the investments. Continuing delivery of the National Islands Plan to support sustainable economic development across all Scottish islands. Investing in the delivery of road and bridge maintenance works across the trunk road network to maintain key links across the country.

Secondary Outcomes

Communities: Investing in temporary active travel infrastructure, through the Spaces for People initiative, allowed more people to walk, wheel and cycle safely in local communities, with due process, local authorities can now consider which of these schemes to make permanent. Continuing delivery of the National Islands Plan to help improve outcomes for all Scottish island communities.

Poverty: Continuing to subsidise the delivery and use of public transport and investing in active travel schemes in deprived areas to help make sustainable transport modes more accessible for those on lower incomes. Emergency funding supporting public transport operators to help ensure services, including lifeline services, continued to run. Those living in deprived areas are at a higher risk of injury due to road accidents; Transport Scotland's continued delivery of the Road Safety Framework[51] should help reduce this inequality. Improving digital connectivity provides access for disadvantaged groups to products and services while supporting greater inclusion, equality and participation. Two of the heat in buildings capital investment programmes – Warmer Homes Scotland and Area Based Schemes – are targeted at those in fuel poverty, helping to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty.

Children: Funding support for more targeted children's cycle training to improve road awareness and safety as well as helping encourage behaviour change at an early stage to active travel modes. Delivering the Road Safety Framework aims to reduce risk of injury or death in children as a result of road traffic accidents.

Health: Investment in active travel, such as the Spaces for People initiative, aims to incentivise physical activity such as walking, wheeling or cycling which would improve health outcomes. Improving digital connectivity for all provides remote access to information, care and support; enabling a more inclusive healthcare system. Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2030 aims to reduce the risk of injury or death as a result of road accidents. The skeleton air service ensured that remote communities were still able to access healthcare on the Scottish mainland timeously.

Environment: Funding measures that incentivise the use of more sustainable transport modes e.g. the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, electric vehicle infrastructure and Spaces for People. Continue support for onshore and offshore wind, hydro, wave and tidal energy projects. Increase spending on heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency investment projects to support the necessary shift to reduce emissions from heating homes and buildings. Continue investment in Scotland's colleges through the Energy Skills Partnership to help build capacity and capability to deliver training for electric vehicle repair and maintenance, and to anticipate future skills needed to support low carbon mobility. Low Emission Zones regulations to come into force by May 2021. Funding to support installation of over 75 new publicly accessible EV charge points, hosted by private businesses, as part of expansion of the 'ChargePlace Scotland' network. Establish a Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce to co-design a pathway to a fully decarbonised bus fleet. Funding to establish the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) at Kirkwall Airport to support our aims of the Highlands and Islands becoming the world's first net zero aviation region by 2040 and to support the trialling of low and zero emission aircraft.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Transport Scotland Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20

Rural Economy and Tourism

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[52] were: strengthening rural, island and coastal communities; optimising the value and sustainability of Scotland's land and marine assets; and supporting the Tourism sector, in the face of challenges from EU exit and climate change, with a package of measures set out in the Programme for Government.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Economy; Environment; Communities; Fair Work and Business; Education; Health; International; Culture.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Reprioritisation of resources to support businesses and communities through the pandemic and delivery of national COVID-19 support programmes.

2020-21 Deliverables

EU Support and Related Services: Direct Payments to active farmers and crofters via the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and continued support for agri-environment, farm advice and knowledge transfer, crofting and the food and drink sector. Delivering more than 95 per cent – almost £400 million – of area based Pillar 1 payments to more than 97 per cent of eligible farmers and crofters, four months ahead of target. Continued to develop plans to simplify current CAP schemes and work towards creating a successful replacement. Delivery of European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant funding.

Rural Services: Delivered the Food and Drink recovery plan and supported the sector in COVID recovery and preparing for EU Exit. Continued support for Animal Health in Scotland, including in the lead up to and following EU Exit.

Tourism and Hospitality: Supported VisitScotland's role as Scotland's national tourism organisation, which provided business support to the Tourism, Hospitality and Events sector affected by COVID restrictions. Focused on businesses that were not able to access other support, or where, due to their cost base, this support was not adequate. Established the Tourism Recovery Task Force, developed the Tourism Recovery Strategy, with a focus on supporting recovery in the short and medium term, to stabilise and put the sector back on course to the vision set out in Scotland's National Tourism Strategy Outlook 2030, launched in March 2020. Provided £103.4 million in dedicated business support funding for the sector, and a further £25 million for Phase 1 recovery.

Rural Economy Enterprise: Highlands and Islands Enterprise invested £92.4 million in Rural Economy projects, including £8.9 million in fragile areas; it supported 1,865 FTE jobs and delivered seminars to over 10,300 participants. South of Scotland Enterprise provided £11.7 million of support via various funds to over 700 businesses, communities and projects, safeguarding/creating 3,700 jobs. A range of support initiatives were put in place to support tourism, snowsports and Rural and Island Communities more widely from the impacts of the pandemic.

Scottish Forestry: The Strategic Timber Transport Fund funded 52 projects, supporting sustainability and climate change targets. The Scottish Forestry Strategy funded 70 projects, helping to support initiative and innovation. There was 10,600 hectares of new planting.

Forestry and Land Scotland: Restocked 4,254 hectares (ha) of land with trees, created 483 ha of new woodland, restored 89 ha of vacant land, increased high conservation value forests and land by 1329 ha, and undertook 900 ha of initial peatland restoration. Maintained timber supply for use in the COVID response; published the New Timber Marketing Framework[53]; and created 38 apprenticeships and student placements.

Fisheries and Aquaculture: Delivery of tailored Fisheries and Aquaculture funding packages during the pandemic to support Scotland's fleet. Support for table producing shellfish and trout business through £3 million Aquaculture Hardship Fund, and for shellfish wild and aquaculture, and trout in the Seafood Producers' Resilience Fund.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Economy: Scottish Forestry[54] programme activities aim to provide a boost to rural economies by supporting the use of land for forestry purposes rather than carbonised industries, and providing good quality jobs. Further expansion of sustainable, productive woodland underpins private sector investment, increasing capacity and helping demonstrate the vibrancy of the Scottish Forestry sector. It is expected to generate £37 million Gross Value Added of new economic activity each year. Over £630 million in ongoing support has been provided to create stability across the rural economy to withstand shocks from EU Exit whilst supporting the green and blue recoveries. Seafood support schemes administered by Marine Scotland aimed to mitigate the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and help safeguard future economic benefits. Support for tourism and hospitality sector to provide a lifeline to businesses that were amongst some of the hardest hit sectors as a result of the pandemic, and support with restart when restrictions eased.

Secondary Outcomes

Communities: Engage with 94 community groups, facilitating 122 community projects[55] across Scotland. A further funding package of £7.75 million to support fishermen, seafood businesses and ports and harbours threatened by the ongoing effects of COVID-19 and EU Exit; and the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme provides grants to Local Authorities to repair roads across the country, impacted by timber extraction.

Environment: The achievement of annual woodland creation targets will help meet net zero, improve biodiversity and increase the social value/accessibility to the outdoors. Investment in the Agricultural Transformation Programme to support farmers, crofters and land managers to reduce their carbon emissions. Scottish Forestry review of biosecurity advice and simplifying guidance to help ensure the long-term health of Scotland's trees, woods and forests.

Fair Work and Business: Forestry and Land Scotland expanding youth employment opportunities, and creating a 'blue-print' for other public/private employers in Forestry to use.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Agricultural Payments: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Growth Sector Statistics - Tourism

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[56] were: tackling climate change; protecting iconic species and landscapes; investing in biodiversity and natural capital; improving the quality of Scotland's air, land, seas and fresh water; developing a circular economy; empowering communities and improving the way land is owned, used and managed; and investing in the research base.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Environment; Communities; Economy; Health; International; Human Rights; Fair Work and Business.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Work and projects across the portfolio were impacted by COVID, for example in Land Reform policy and Research Analysis. The establishment of a Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Scotland office was delayed; activity with communities was curtailed; planned environmental projects by delivery partners were delayed, including the river basin management plan; and there was a reduction in utilisation of funding for noise and air quality action.

2020-21 Deliverables

Land Reform: The Scottish Land Fund provided £9.7 million of support to communities to acquire ownership of urban and rural land and buildings, this equated to 63 project awards, resulting in 6,655 acres and 38 buildings coming under community ownership. This directly contributes to the National Performance Framework indicator for the number of assets in community ownership. The indicator has consistently trended positively: as of 31 December 2020 there were 612 assets in community ownership. This is 15 (2.5%) higher than the revised figure of 597 for 2019. Completed the implementation of the core parts of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016; sponsorship of the Scottish Land Commission, along with support for Development Trusts Scotland, Community Land Scotland and Scottish University Land Unit; delivered support to communities seeking to own assets or become more engaged in local land decisions, including through good practice work, advice and awareness raising of land reform issues.

Climate Change: Published an updated Climate Change Plan, recast in the context of a green COVID recovery; and launched a new website[57] and national campaign. Ongoing delivery of: statutory requirements of Scottish climate change legislation; corporate sponsorship of the independent advisory Climate Change Committee (CCC); capacity-building support to public bodies, businesses and communities through the Adaptation Scotland programme; and international commitments around Climate Justice. Delivery of 68 Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) and 280 Climate Challenge Asset Fund (CCAF) projects.

Scottish Water: Published net-zero route map; reduced carbon footprint by a further 2%; achieved 99.95% drinking water quality compliance; and delivered investment of £612 million. Continued roll-out of top up taps. 138,472 litres of water have been taken from the taps – saving 419,612 single-use plastic bottles.

Environmental Services: Collaborated across Scotland and internationally to protect and restore nature and the biodiversity of Scotland, invested £11 million in the restoration of 5,000 hectares of degraded peat, and took action on wildlife management, wildlife crime and animal welfare, including leading the Edinburgh Process on biodiversity. Delivered improvements to the condition of Scotland's water environment by removing barriers to migratory fish and working in partnership with local authorities to deliver projects to create river-based greenspace in Scottish towns. Reservoir Safety and Coastal Change adaptation delivered Water Resilient Places – a Policy Framework for Surface Water Management to address the increasing impacts Scotland will face from surface water flooding as climate impacts play out over the coming decades. Provided £42 million to Local Authorities to reduce flood risk across Scotland; £193,000 to the Scottish Flood Forum to support flood risk communities; £1.395 million to SEPA for Flood Forecasting and Warning. Ongoing delivery of statutory requirements of Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 and Coast Protection Act 1949.

Research Analysis and Other Services: Extension of the Strategic Research Programme to ensure continuity and support research institutes to continue their work in the COVID-19 period. There was also reprioritisation to work under three headings – COVID-19; the Green Recovery and EU Exit, as well recovery of work which had to be delayed or suspended due to the pandemic and associated restrictions. New spending in this area included work to establish the possibility of developing wastewater testing for COVID-19, and then developing statistical models to link wastewater testing results with COVID test results from human testing. Overall, spending has been focussed on research to inform the COVID-19 recovery response while maintaining momentum for knowledge exchange partnerships working across environment, land, agriculture, food and rural community priorities.

Marine Scotland: Launched the Sectoral Marine Plan for offshore wind, enabling the subsequent launch of the ScotWind leasing round for up to 10GW of offshore wind development in Scottish Waters; implemented fish farm changes during the pandemic; delivered Scotland's Marine Assessment 2020, providing an updated bank of evidence on the state of Scotland's seas[58]; and reduced the grounds on which the licensed killing of seals is permitted as part of the Animal and Wildlife Act. Designated a number of Marine Protected Areas and Special Protected Areas for seabirds as part of the approach to tackling the nature emergency. Distributed £9.7 million of Scottish Crown Estate net revenues from Crown Estate assets within 12 nautical miles to coastal communities for investment in coastal community benefit. Supported the negotiation of 2021 stocks as an independent Coastal State and delivered COVID-19 hardship funding support to fishers and small aquaculture businesses. Ensured Scotland's interests have been represented in the UK Fisheries Bill.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Environment: Help to maintain high standards of environmental governance through the establishment of Environmental Standards Scotland, the incorporation of the EU guiding principles on the environment into Scots law, and the development of an Environment Strategy Monitoring Framework. Continue investment in the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, peatland restoration, water environment, and broader actions to support the improvement of Scottish biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CCF and CCAF funded projects to support communities to take action, including reducing reliance on car travel, cutting waste, and lowering energy use. Make progress towards waste and recycling targets, with the amount of Scottish landfill waste reaching its lowest level since recording began. COVID waste contingencies programme to enable waste services to be sustained during the pandemic, helping reduce litter and flytipping. Promote Nature Based Solutions for Flood Risk Management and Coastal Change Adaptation.

Economy: Work to deliver economic benefits through the launch of the sectoral marine plan for offshore wind energy which identifies sustainable options for the future development of commercial-scale offshore wind energy in Scotland, which will both be a vital component for meeting ambitious targets for net zero but also building Scotland's Blue Economy. Respond to climate and flood risk impacts by investing in climate change adaptation.

Secondary Outcomes

Communities: Work to help empower communities through the Community Right to Buy and Scottish Land Fund, which underpin Government ambitions to ensure communities can acquire land and buildings to further their own objectives and sustainable development. Work to improve community resilience to flood risk through sponsorship of the Scottish Flood Forum and promotion of property flood resilience.

Health: Investing in Scotland's Great Trails, the National Cycle Network and Scottish Canals to help support a green recovery from the pandemic, tackle climate change, and help more people enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the significant health benefits that can be delivered through active travel.

Education: Work to support improved climate literacy levels via the publication and consultation on draft public engagement strategy, which aims to improve climate literacy levels amongst the population and educate people on the climate emergency; also support through the delivery of Eco Schools and Climate Ready Classrooms which continue to grow.

International: Support communities in Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia in becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change through the Climate Justice Fund, for example, supporting Malawian youth to engage in international climate discourse through the Malawi Climate Leaders project.

Human Rights: Support the protection of citizens' rights through The Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, which sets out rights for citizens and responsibilities for landowners and land managers. It takes a human rights approach and sets out a vision of a strong and dynamic relationship between Scotland's land and its people.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Scottish Natural Capital Accounts 2021

Scottish Energy Statistics

Natural Capital Asset Index

SEFARI Progress Report on Strategic Research Programme Delivery

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Performance Report 2019-20

Economy, Fair Work and Culture

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[59] were: investing in infrastructure, communities and people; supporting and promoting innovation; strengthening international links and promoting Scotland to the global economy; ensuring economic growth is inclusive and that everybody benefits from it; and investing in culture and heritage to support our vision that Scotland is a place where culture is valued, protected and nurtured.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Economy; Fair Work and Business; Culture; Communities; Poverty; Education; Environment; Health; International.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

COVID impacted staff resources and associated delivery of planned priorities as many people pivoted to support, for example, the PPE and testing supply chain work and to develop early guidance for retail and deliver business support schemes. Public bodies across the Portfolio were similarly affected. Work on culture was almost wholly focussed on managing the impacts of the pandemic which had a profound effect on the culture, heritage and creative industries sector, with restrictions meaning that many attractions and activities were closed for most of the year. In the very earliest days of the pandemic the Scottish Government honoured funding commitments for Scotland's cultural organisations, regardless of whether activity had to be cancelled, reduced or rescheduled, and Creative Scotland repurposed regular funding to help with the COVID-19 response. Further to regular funding, in 2020/21 the Scottish Government provided £150 million to the culture, heritage and events sector. That is far more than funding received, or still due to receive, in consequentials for cultural recovery from the UK Government. Providing this support has been a lifeline to Scotland's venues and organisations, and in particular to the freelancers who are such a crucial part of the creative economy

2020-21 Deliverables

Enterprise, Trade and Investment: The Business Support Fund Grants, Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund and Strategic Framework Business Fund paid out more than £1.4 billion in 2020-21 to businesses required to close or modify their operations throughout the pandemic. In addition, more than £355 million was paid out through sector specific business support funds to sectors which were not eligible for wider Scottish Government or UK Government support and the £20 million DigitalBoost Grant Fund supported 2,300 SMEs to use technology to continue trading.
Scottish Enterprise delivered £568 million in economic development support, helping 4,000 businesses and safeguarding more than 70,000 jobs. Secured over 6,900 real living wage jobs and invested £75 million into early stage companies, including a new scheme to fill COVID-related gaps in the Scottish investment market. In support of Scotland's international trade and investment ambitions, the Scottish Government published the overarching Vision for Trade and Global Capital and Inward Investment Plans[60] and continued to enhance and expand networks of GlobalScots and Trade Envoys as well as funding additional in-country specialists in priority markets as part of Scottish Development International's presence overseas. In spite of the combined challenges of COVID and EU Exit, Scottish Development International were successful in supporting businesses to achieve over £1bn in export sales. In the face of significant economic headwinds, Scotland also retained its place as the most attractive location for inward investment in the UK outside of London for the eight time, with Scotland's share of UK inward investment also growing from 9.1% in 2019 to 11% in 2020 with 107 inward investment projects secured.

Culture: In addition to the £150 million of emergency funding to the culture, heritage and events sector, the Scottish Government continued to provide regular funding to culture bodies and core funded organisations. Worked closely with partners, agencies and stakeholders to monitor the ongoing impact of the pandemic and were as flexible as possible with grant conditions for the sector so they could be repurposed for resilience. This has enabled culture to continue to play a vital role in people's lives during the pandemic, through its positive effect on mental health, and in bringing people together. There has been an acceleration in online performances and an increase in the proportion of people (particularly the under 45s) who engage with culture digitally.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES): HES continues to lead on the care and promotion of Scotland's historic environment, giving the public access to the historic estate, promoting interpretation and understanding, regulating the management of heritage. Funding was also provided to support financially viable historic environment organisations at risk of failure, through the Historic Environment Recovery Fund.

Employability and Training: Supported Fair Start Scotland[61] (FSS) providers to adapt in light of COVID and continue to provide employability support services. There have been over 35,500 starts on Fair Start Scotland in the first three and a quarter years of delivery (April 2018 to June 2021) and more than 11,500 people have been supported into work. Performance analysis, evaluation evidence and feedback from providers suggest that the service has responded well to the pressures brought on by the pandemic and has continued to provide a quality service that is highly rated by participants. Launched the Young Person's Guarantee, with the aim that all 16 to 24 year olds will have the opportunity to study; take up an apprenticeship, job or work experience; or participate in formal volunteering. DYW provided support for the summer leaver cohort. Invested £2 million in equalities groups, including Enable and Intercultural Youth Scotland. Launched the National Transition Training Fund (NTTF) in response to the pandemic, supporting over 6,000 individuals at risk of unemployment to upskill or retrain; and extended reach of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (co-funded with E&S portfolio) to include SMEs. Fair Work: Launched a public consultation to gather views about how to achieve the Scottish Government's Fair Work Nation ambitions, to inform Fair Work priorities, particularly in the context of COVID, EU Exit and wider economic recovery and renewal and a just transition to a net zero and wellbeing economy. Fair Work First was extended across the whole public sector and the criteria expanded to support flexible and family friendly and oppose the use of fire and rehire practice and guidance published. The real Living Wage rate of £9.50 per hour was promoted through accreditation. Implementation of a new Living Hours Accreditation Scheme for employers began in August 2021. Continued implementation of Fair Work, Gender Pay Gap and Disabled People's Employment Action Plans, and initiated work on race and employment to address labour market inequalities, including establishment of a Public Social Partnership to support employers to recruit and retain disabled people; delivery of the Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment; publication of a Minority Ethnic Recruitment toolkit; and delivery of the Workplace Equality Fund and Women Returners' Programme.

Scottish National Investment Bank: Launched in November 2020 and has commenced investing in projects and companies aligned with the Missions set by Scottish Ministers.

Accountant in Bankruptcy: See the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts on their website[62].

European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programmes: Around £50 million of ESF and ERDF grant support was allocated to partners with the aim of boosting smart, inclusive and sustainable growth and assisting Scotland's economic and social recovery from COVID-19. Key projects included Skills Development Scotland's apprenticeships, transforming vacant urban land into greenspaces via the Green Infrastructure Fund, and building low carbon travel infrastructure such as Electric Vehicle charging points. A Scottish plan for the Shared Prosperity Fund, which is set to be the UK Governments replacement for European Structural Funds, was also developed and published.

Regional Support: Concluded funding allocations for 58 SOSEP-funded projects in the South of Scotland.

£2 million Regional Recovery Fund enabled regional partners to accelerate Deal projects, develop Community Wealth Building work within their regions, and make progress on Regional Economic Strategies. This supported, for example, the development of the South of Scotland's first Regional Economic Strategy, allowed Ayrshire and Edinburgh to move at pace on key activities to progress Deal projects, and gave Glasgow the opportunity to resource work on Community Wealth Building. The £42 million contract to build the HQ to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, a £75 million Scottish Government investment, was awarded to Morrison Construction in May 2020 who are committed to achieving the design team's aspirations of the building being awarded BREEAM 'outstanding' for sustainability. Construction commenced in December 2020 and is expected to last 18 months. The Aerospace Response Group helped reposition the industry for post-pandemic recovery and for future sustainable aviation activity, and assisted with retraining those leaving the industry. Work was also undertaken on development, in partnership with industry and academia, of the Scottish Space Strategy.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Economy: The Partnership Action for Continuing Employment provided information to 34,222 individuals and additional support to 3,396, with a survey suggesting 81% had obtained employment within six months. 115 work placements were created and filled through Community Jobs Scotland (CJS), with 49.5% achieving a positive outcome, such as a job or moving into Further Education. There were 7,955 starts on Employability Fund provision. International Trade and Investment had a net positive impact on the economy. Further development work is underway to develop a wider range of metrics on return on investment for A Trading Nation; and evaluation measures for the Inward and Capital plans will seek to capture a wider range of impacts aligned to supporting Fair Work, Net Zero and Wellbeing elements as well as economic impact in monetary terms.

Fair Work and Business: All international trade and investment plans have the commitment to Fair Work at their heart; and delivery aims to contribute to the Government's ambition to be a Fair Work Nation by 2025. The whole of the public sector has been asked to adopt Fair Work First as employers and through their public spend.

Human Rights: NOLB[63] and the Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF) to support the right to work and deliver improved accessibility with the aim of tackling barriers for protected groups and enhancing children's rights. International economy plans reference the protection and promotion of human rights and set clear expectations that Scottish based businesses and international investors should adopt ethical business practices.

Secondary Outcomes

Communities: NOLB and PESF: support collaborative working with Local Government in developing and delivering employability provision integrated with local services. SOSEP funded projects: support community-led entrepreneurship, town centre regeneration and significant investments in education and skills, including expanding college digital infrastructure. The development of Regional Economic Partnerships involves engaging and representing the communities within those regions and using regional economic strategies that consider skills and employability requirements to ensure that future investment is utilised in a way that enhances the wellbeing of the people and place.

Poverty: PESF activities support low income parents to access and progress in employment, increasing household income. Fair Start Scotland (FSS) eligibility was extended for particularly disadvantaged groups, including care experienced individuals who are resident in 15% most deprived SIMD areas, minority ethnics and lone parents.

International: International trade and investment plans aim to reinforce Scotland's role as a good global citizen. Developing Brand Scotland and reinforcement of international networks to contribute to enhancing Scotland's reputation.

Environment: Create a Green Investment Portfolio to help investors identify green opportunities in Scotland, releasing the first £1 billion tranche of projects. Decarbonisation of transport and energy have been identified as key in the inward investment plan.

Culture: Investment in Scotland's unique heritage and culture through HES, Creative Scotland, the National Collections and the National Performing Companies, as well as investing in its capacity for creativity and major events, aims to enhance the quality of life for Scotland's communities and enables a variety of programmes to be run, helping to ensure Scotland's culture reaches a diverse and inclusive audience, as well as future generations

Other Relevant Performance Information

State of the Economy: September 2020

Economy Statistics

ONS Business Industry and Trade

Business and Innovation Statistics

Business Support statistics

Export Statistics

Labour Market Statistics

Trade Union Statistics

Skills Development Scotland Annual Review 2020-21

Skills Development Scotland Statistics - Modern Apprenticeships and Employability Fund

Fair Start Scotland Annual Report Year 2

Graduate Apprenticeships Progress Report June 2021

Scotland's Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth (SCRIG) Dashboard

Scottish Replacement For EU Structural Funds

Fair Work Action Plan Annual Report 2021

Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan Annual Report 2021

A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan Annual Report 2021

Fair Work First Guidance 2021

EY UK Attractiveness Survey 2021

Social Security and Older People

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[64] were: to prioritise funding to support the development, design and implementation of social security powers and delivery of all benefits through Social Security Scotland, improving on the current system wherever possible; and to continue to support strategic and front-line projects to address inequality and discrimination across the protected characteristics, delivering on the commitment to provide security for the third sector through 3-year funding streams.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Poverty; Children and Young People; Human Rights.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Reprioritisation to support the organisation's response to the pandemic, meant planned development work in Equalities and roll out of new funding streams were delayed. The Social Security Programme responded rapidly to understand and mitigate the impact of COVID, identifying priorities and ring-fencing resource to deliver them, whilst pausing other areas to allow staff to support the Government's overall response to COVID. In Social Security Scotland, re-planning meant that the timetable for delivery of the remaining benefits was revised, requiring recruitment plans to be amended, including recruiting additional temporary staff to meet delivery needs and customer requirements. The refurbishment of St Agnes Husband House in Dundee was also affected by COVID and work will be completed in 2021-22. The cost of Agency Agreements with the Department for Work and Pensions were lower than expected because of expenditure reductions related to COVID.

2020-21 Deliverables

Equalities: Provided over £16 million to tackle violence against women and girls[65], including front line support, and support for the pandemic response; and over £11 million to support work to progress Equality & Human Rights[66].

Social Security: 2020-21 was the third year that Social Security Scotland[67] was in operation. Three additional benefits were fully developed by the Programme and introduced by Social Security Scotland over the course of the year – Job Start Payment[68], Scottish Child Payment[69] (the biggest benefit launched to date in regard to the level of client volumes), and Child Winter Heating Assistance[70]. The Programme continue to design and subsequently develop future benefits, which include Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payment, the latter launched during 2021-22.

Social Security Assistance: Almost £3.4 billion of support has been provided to the people of Scotland this year. Investment in the Scottish Welfare Fund was increased in response to the pandemic, with an additional £22 million distributed to Local Authorities, and £20 million of flexible funding provided to tackle financial insecurity over the winter period. £8 million was added to Discretionary Housing Payments, increasing the non-bedroom tax mitigation budget from £11 million to £19 million, and £19.2 million was provided for the Coronavirus Carer's Allowance Supplement which meant around 83,000 carers in Scotland received up to £690 more than equivalent carers in the rest of the UK.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Poverty: The Scottish Child Payment represents an intervention, which is unparalleled across the UK, to tackle child poverty, providing support to low-income families with children under six. It will be rolled out to under 16s by end 2022, depending on the UK Government providing the data needed for 6 -16 year olds. Evaluations of benefits show that clients tended to find payments came at a timely moment and enabled them to meet the financial commitments of both caring and childcare in a better way.

Human Rights: The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 and the Social Security Charter[71] recognise that social security is itself a human right and essential to the realisation of other human rights. Supported projects to address inequality and discrimination across the protected characteristics, and to address violence against women and girls, along with the development of proposals for legislation to drive long-term, systemic change in relation to human rights and supports embedding of equality and human rights across the Scottish Government and wider public sector.

Children and Young People: The five Family Payments (Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Years Payment, School Age Payment and Best Start Foods) are all aimed at supporting low income families with children to ensure they get the best start in life. The evaluation of Best Start Grant highlighted that payments eased financial strain on low income families, prevented some families from going into debt, and led to positive outcomes for child and parent alike. Launched Child Winter Heating Assistance which provides financial assistance to severely disabled children and young people with an annual payment during the winter to assist in mitigating the increased costs incurred in heating their homes as a result of having a disability or long-term condition. This new form of assistance delivered over 14,000 payments.

Secondary Outcomes

Economy: The Job Start Payment, introduced in August 2020, provides a single payment to young people who have been unemployed for at least six months, to give them support when they start work, for example for transport, clothing or equipment.

Health: Evaluations of benefits published to date all record that clients found greater control and reduced financial stress as a result of payments received.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Social Security Scotland - Publications, Statistics and Research

Social Security Scotland Corporate Plan

Social security policy research and evaluation: publications

Constitution, Europe and External Affairs

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[72] were to: engage in negotiations and support preparation on the UK's future relationship with the EU, and protect the rights of EU citizens resident in Scotland, and Scots in EU countries; develop and disseminate detailed information on the case for independence and continue to prepare for a referendum; and continue to pursue our ambition for a society founded on fairness and equality through our democratic frameworks.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Economy; Communities; International

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Work to prepare for an independence referendum in 2020 was paused in the light of the COVID crisis. The portfolio coordinated a range of work on the response to COVID.

2020-21 Deliverables

External Affairs: Delivered the International Development Fund and Humanitarian Emergency Fund. Provided a package of support for EU Citizens to help them secure their status now the UK has left the EU. Operated an External Network of Offices to enhance the Government's reach and Scotland's international reputation, and to support the delivery of the Scottish Government's objectives. Led work on international aspects of COVID, including repatriations and international travel.

Government Business: Delivered a major suite of primary and secondary COVID legislation and guidance as well as coordinating work on intra-UK COVID liaison, parliamentary reporting and policy on domestic travel; and overall governance, coordination, monitoring and reporting of concurrent EU Exit and COVID-19[73] risks and associated programme of work.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Economy: Preparatory work for the end of the transition period following the UK's Exit from the EU sought to mitigate the risks to, and minimise the impact on, Scotland's economy, including from the ending of freedom of movement.

International: Ahead of the UK's Exit from the EU, and in the months after, set out Ministers position on Scotland's place in Europe, and Scotland's place in the world; and use networks to position Scotland as a great place to do business, and a place that welcomes migrants, students and visitors.

Other Relevant Performance Information

Freedom of Information performance

International Development 2019-20: Contribution Report

International Development-National Indicator Development: Research Report

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)

Policy Aims in 2020-21 draft Budget

The main priorities for 2020-21[74] were to: maintain the rule of law and administration of justice in Scotland; secure justice for the people of Scotland through the independent, effective and fair investigation and prosecution of crime in the public interest; investigate sudden and unexpected deaths in order to identify their causes and, where appropriate, so lessons are learned from avoidable deaths; underpin public confidence in the police through the independent, effective and fair investigation and prosecution of criminal allegations against police officers; help to protect individuals and communities from harm, including through the use of the powers available under the Proceeds of Crime Act and otherwise.

Expected to contribute to the following National Outcomes: Communities, Human Rights, Economy.

COVID Impact on 2020-21 Priorities

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the criminal justice system in Scotland scaled down all but the most essential court proceedings. The implementation of new legislation, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, and Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act, affected COPFS including allowing for remote, electronic attendance of parties at court; electronic signature and transfer of documents; extension of time limits; and admission of statements in evidence in certain circumstances. Successful business continuity plans ensured that there was no interruption to business activities within COPFS.

2020-21 Deliverables

There was a significantly increased number of reportable deaths requiring further investigation. A dedicated Unit was established to investigate COVID-19 deaths that required to be reported, and a memorandum of understanding implemented with the medical profession on the reporting of COVID-19 deaths to the Procurator Fiscal.

A project was completed to review and modernise the processes involved in deaths investigations and Fatal Accident Inquiries. COPFS worked with toxicology suppliers on a service improvement plan which has assisted in reducing the caseload and improving turnaround times. COPFS tackled increasing caseloads of serious cases, in line with Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) court programmes, recruited for additional essential posts, and inducted and trained staff.

COPFS worked with Justice Partners to formulate and deliver the Court Recovery Programme with Scottish Government support; and the Future Ways of Working programme is taking account of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to shape future ways of working.

Overall Intended Portfolio Contribution to National Outcomes

The deliverables described above were intended to contribute to the following outcomes:

Primary Outcomes

Communities: Contribute to the resilience and safety of communities across Scotland through action taken in response to crime reports, investigations into deaths that need further explanation, and allegations of criminal conduct against police officers while on duty.

Economy: Maintain an effective system for the investigation and prosecution of crime, and the investigation of deaths, helping to reduce the detrimental impact that crime can have on Scotland's economy.

Human Rights: Investment to support the following Human Rights outcomes: the right to a fair trial and the right to freedom from punishment without law.

Secondary Outcomes

Environment: Continue to exceed target to reduce CO2 emissions from the use of gas and electricity in its buildings by over 2.5% per year. Emissions were reduced by 23% by end March 2021, due to an increase in national renewable energy generation and a reduction in electricity consumption of 18%.

Other Relevant Performance Information

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Statistics

Outturn against Budget

These accounts report actual outturn compared to the budget authorised by the Scottish Parliament. The annual budget authorised by the Scottish Parliament is the budget for the wider Scottish Administration and includes the funding of activities which are not within the Scottish Government, and therefore outside the required accounting boundary of these accounts. There are also some differences between the HMT required budgeting rules and the government financial reporting accounting requirements that have to be accommodated in any comparison. These accounts therefore compare the actual outturn to the budget, both stated on the same accounting basis. There is a reconciliation and explanation of the budget reflected in the accounts with that shown in the annual budget documents provided in Note 22.

As described above, spending plans for financial year 2020-21 were set out in the Scottish Budget 2020-21 published on 6 February 2020. These plans were presented alongside the introduction of the Budget Bill. After consideration by the Scottish Parliament Finance and Constitution Committee and other Committees the Bill received Royal Assent as the Budget (Scotland) Act 2020 in March 2020. Parliamentary approval for the in-year revisions to the plans set out in the Budget (Scotland) Act was granted in the Summer Budget Revision made in June 2020, Autumn Budget Revision made in November 2020 and Spring Budget Revision, made in March 2021. Over the course of the three budget revisions the Scottish Government allocated £8.6 billion Covid-19 consequentials in 2020-21.

The budget of £50,701 million reported in these accounts is net of adjustments to reflect those activities not included in the accounting boundary as described above. This is made up of an operating budget of £48,573 million and a capital budget of £2,128 million.

The financial results for the year are reported in the attached accounts. They record

an explanation of the major variances is included in these accounts in the portfolio outturn statements. They record a Net Resource Outturn of £48,200 million against a budget of £48,573 million, resulting in an underspend of £373 million. The Net Capital Outturn for the year was £1,921 million against a budget of £2,128 million representing an underspend of £207 million. The total underspend was £580 million, 1.1% of the total budget.

Under the current devolution settlement, the Scottish Parliament is not allowed to overspend its budget. As a consequence, the Scottish Government has consistently adopted a position of controlling public expenditure to ensure we live within the budget caps that apply, but remain able to carry forward some spending power resources for use in a future year.

The provisional outturn announcement made by the Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth in June 2021 acknowledged that the financial challenges of responding to the pandemic have been unprecedented and reported that the provisional fiscal outturn for 2020-21 was £48.0 billion against a total fiscal budget of £48.5 billion. The announcement reported the position in terms of Scottish Government expenditure against totals as set by HM Treasury. The two sets of outturn information are not strictly comparable. The scope of what is included in these accounts is determined by the requirements of the Government's Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) and covers elements that are not included in the HM Treasury figures.

Over the course of the three budget revisions the Scottish Government allocated £8.6 billion of Covid-19 consequentials in 2020-21. Information on the breakdown of this is available within the Budget Revision documents and other sources, such as FOI releases.[75] The net funds deployed included funds reprioritised from non Covid allocations.

Additional information on COVID spend

There is understandable interest in the level of spending on Covid response. "Covid spend" is not, however, a budgetary or accounting classification and the portfolio statements in these accounts necessarily report against the authorised budgets at a higher level.

Audit Scotland has produced a series of reports considering the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland's public finances; the latest, from September 2021[76], highlights Audit Scotland's tracking of the Covid-19 public spending announcements and includes a Scottish Government estimated breakdown of actual spend on Covid-19 in 2020-21 as £8.8 billion.

This estimate came from detailed analysis of provisional outturn for the financial year as part of the annual accounts process and this information was subsequently published[77]. A portfolio level summary is provided below, highlighting the more significant elements of spend within the portfolios.

Outwith the specific support schemes, there is an element of judgement in attributing some spend, particularly where existing mechanisms were used to provide aspects of support; this list cannot therefore be considered exhaustive but can be considered as a minimum listing.

The performance analysis on pages XX to YY provides additional information highlighting the impact of Covid on priorities and deliverables. There is also information in the Governance statement on pages ZZ to ZZ, setting out the approach to governance and assurance for the new Covid support schemes.

There is, progressively, a great deal of information now available from different sources about the different forms of support. Some of this is signposted from the Performance analysis sections which cover delivery and some of this is not restricted to specific financial years.

Portfolio Capital FTs Resource Total
Level 2 £m £m £m £m
Health and Sport - 25 2,730 2,755
Personal Protective Equipment - - 448  
Hospital scale up - Staffing and beds - - 341  
£500 bonus payment - - 198  
Social Care - - 196  
Test and Protect - - 130  
Adult social care winter plan - - 112  
Equipment and Maintenance - - 90  
Public Health Measures - - 70  
NHS Louisa Jordan - - 57  
Other direct Health Board spend - - 358  
Other Core Health spend - - 700  
Sport - 25 30  
Communities and Local Government 30 52 3,221 3,303
Local Government
Small Business Grant Scheme
- - 800  
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme - - 220  
Rates Relief - - 972  
UK Government Consequentials Lost Income Scheme - - 204  
Local Government Barnett Consequentials - - 200  
Other Local Government - - 523  
Housing Sector Funds
- 20 11  
Social Justice and Regeneration
Addressing Financial Hardship
- - 40  
Free School Meals and Community Food - - 39  
Other Social Justice and Regeneration 30 - 126  
Third Sector
Third Sector Funds
- 32 86  
Finance 47 - 43 90
Digital Strategy
Digital Strategy Grants
47 - -  
Other Finance
Communications, Ministerial Support & Workplace
- - 32  
Registers of Scotland - - 11  
Education and Skills 132 - 330 462
Free School Meals over holidays
- - 17  
Additional Teachers and Support Staff - - 53  
Digital Inclusion 21 - 3  
Education Recovery Funding - - 90  
Other Learning 1 - 2  
Children and Families
Winter Plan Social Protection
- - 25  
Other Children and Families - - 8  
Higher Education Student Support
Winter Covid Fund
- - 21  
Other HESS - - 3  
Advanced Learning and Science
Student Hardship funding
- - 30  
Further/Higher Education Funding through Scottish Funding Council - - 40  
Additional research funding through Scottish Funding Council 95 - -  
Exam Support and other funding to Scottish Funding Council - - 26  
Other Advanced Learning and Science 15 - 12  
Justice 6 - 30 36
Legal Aid
Lawyers hardship fund
Scottish Police Authority
Covid support
- - 13  
Scottish Prisons Service
Covid support
3 - 9  
Other Justice spend 3 - 6  
Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity 31 - 615 646
Rail Services
Support for Rail
- - 421  
Support for Light Rail - - 21  
Concessionary Fares & Bus Services Support for Buses - - 123  
Active Travel, Low Carbon and Other Transport
Scottish Canals
2 - 1  
Future Transport Fund 9 - -  
Motorways and Trunk Road
Road Network
20 - -  
Ferry Services Support for Ferries - - 35  
Air Services
Support for Air
- - 14  
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform 35 - 9 44
Research, Analysis and Other Services
Covid related research
23 - -  
Environmental Services
National Parks support
1 - 1  
Other support 1 - 7  
Climate Change
Green Recovery Funds
10 - -  
Scottish Water
Water Testing
- - 1  
Rural Economy, Enterprise and Tourism 10 - 165 175
Rural Services
Wholesale Food and Drink Resilience Fund
- - 6  
Support through Highlands and Islands Enterprise 2 - 9  
Support through South of Scotland Enterprise - - 2  
Other Rural Services Funds 8 - 4  
Fisheries & Aquaculture Grants
Seafood Hardship Fund
- - 14  
Sea Fisheries Support - - 9  
Forestry and Land Scotland
Forestry Land Scotland
- - 4  
Support for Tourism through Visit Scotland
- - 83  
Self Catering Fund - - 7  
Support for Tourism through Scottish Enterprise - - 27  
Economy, Fair Work and Culture 73 1 1,164 1,238
Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Strategic Framework Business Fund
- - 345  
Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Top-up Fund - - 234  
Other Covid support to Local Authorities 71 - 169  
Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund and Hardship - - 145  
Culture and Major Events
Self Catering Fund and Digital Support
- - 21  
Culture Funds through Creative Scotland - - 73  
Historic Environment Scotland - - 29  
Other Cultural support 2 1 19  
Employability and Training
Early Stage Funding
- - 37  
Young Persons Guarantee - - 44  
Apprenticeship Employment Grant - - 21  
National Transition Training Fund - - 11  
Other employability and training spend - - 16  
Social Security and Older People - - 27 27
Social Security Assistance
Carers Allowance Supplement
- - 19  
Other Social Support - - 8  
Constitution, Europe and External Affairs - - -  
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service - - -  
Grand Total 364 78 8,334 8,776

Statement of Financial Position

The primary purpose of these accounts is to reflect the use of resources. The Statement of Financial Position reflects the assets held and liabilities arising from the spending plans which support policy choices. Assets are held not for their income generation capability or their inherent value but for their service potential or as a direct consequence of particular policies, for example providing healthcare in hospitals and the provision of funding to students in the form of loans. Similarly, liabilities arise as a consequence of the timing of commitments relating to spending and policy choices.

The Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, (page 86) is one of the primary financial statements in the Consolidated Accounts. It summarises what is owned and owed by the Scottish Government. This shows taxpayers' equity – an accounting measurement of the amount invested by taxpayers that has continuing public benefit. It shows how much of this has arisen from the application of revenues (including the Scottish Block Grant) and that which has resulted through changes over time in the value of physical assets.

It is important to note that the consolidated accounts bring together the "balance sheets" of bodies that are significant in their own right. Detailed financial and narrative information on the major items, for example the road network, is available in the accounts and related reports of the relevant body - Transport Scotland; similarly, information about NHS bodies is in the detailed accounts for each body; the Student Awards Agency also provides separate reporting around student loans i.e. the loans are not within SAAS' accounts but they do provide information about their administration, and the loans themselves are reported within these consolidated accounts.

The Statement of Financial Position includes:

  • items which are owned, have already been funded from revenues and will provide continuing economic benefit in future periods. These increase taxpayers' equity;
  • items which are owed and expected to require to be funded from future revenues. These decrease taxpayers' equity;
  • items owed to the Scottish Government; and
  • an analysis between amounts that will release or require funding within a year and those which will be carried into future years.

Assets and liabilities

Physical assets are the highest value group of assets in the Consolidated Accounts with a value of £30,808 million at 31 March 2021 of which £20,757 million (67 per cent) relates specifically to the road network. There were additions of £710 million that resulted from capital investment, offset by disposals and the net effect of depreciation and revaluations.

Most physical assets are valued by professional valuers in line with recognised methodologies. This provides an assessment of the continuing benefit they provide in financial terms. Where these assets have been funded by traditional means through capital then there are no continuing liabilities relating to them (maintenance and repair costs will arise). Those funded through other means (such as Public Finance Initiatives, Non Profit Distributing Projects and Scottish Government borrowed funds) also lead to liabilities representing the amounts that will require to be met from future budgets. Only physical assets that are deemed surplus and 'held for sale' (£17 million) will release resources previously invested for future use.

Financial assets include loans made directly to other organisations and individuals, investment funds used to deliver development programmes and investments in nationalised industries plus fully or part owned companies. These assets are of continuing benefit to the Scottish Government, and have the potential over time to release the resources currently invested for future use – including reinvestment, in accordance with the terms of the loan or other investment made.

Where Scottish Ministers decide to make investments directly through the Scottish Government, Accountable Officers must ensure that appropriate diligence and consideration is carried out before any commitment is made to invest in accordance with the detailed guidance in the Scottish Public Finance Manual[78], support specific economic objectives and are in line with the outcomes set out in the National Performance Framework.

Such investments are exceptional in nature and investment is in accordance with Scottish Ministers' purpose of achieving a commercial outcome; this means that the investment should be able to demonstrate a potential return commensurate with the risk associated with the proposal.

For the purposes of assessing the valuation of such investment for accounting purposes, IFRS 9 applies an "expected credit loss model". This is not a write-off of those investments or a prediction of loss but a measure of the risk in the investment which means that the assessment for accounts purposes has to take a prudent view of whether a positive outcome can yet be substantiated.

Burntisland Fabrications Limited (BiFab)

Burntisland Fabrications Limited (BiFab): In the 2018/19 financial year, the Scottish Government converted £37.4 million of loans previously advanced to BiFab on a commercial basis to equity in the company. As a result of the conversion of these loans, the Scottish Government now holds a 32.4% equity stake in BiFab. The equity stake in BiFab was valued at nil in the 2019/20 annual accounts.

In the current financial year, the Scottish Government has advanced further loans on a commercial basis to BiFab totalling £4.5 million. Collectively, this financial support ensured that the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, Moray East Pin Piles and First E&P contracts were completed – creating over 1,000 jobs across the 3 yards at Arnish, Burntisland and Methil. In consultation with commercial advisors, the Scottish Government has written down the carrying value of the outstanding loan balances owed from BiFab to nil.

The delays to the NnG contract award, the decision to award the Seagreen contract to overseas competitors, compounded by the majority shareholder's continued lack of financial support for the business greatly weakened Bifab's cashflow and balance sheet. In light of this, the company was placed into administration on 14 December 2020. Scottish Ministers remain committed to a sustainable future for the sites at Arnish, Burntisland and Methil. In support of this the Scottish Government provided funding to the Administrators of BiFab to allow a sales process to be conducted. This process resulted in a sale of the business to InfraStrata PLC, trading as Harland & Wolff, in February 2021.

Scottish Government continue to work with administrators to maximise the recovery to the public purse from the loans previously provided.

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Limited

On 16 August 2019, Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow was placed in administration. In order to remove the threat of closure, the Scottish Government took control of the operations at the yard under a management agreement with the Administrators of the business. This intervention by Scottish Ministers ensured continuity of employment for the workforce and continued work on the vessels under construction during the period of Administration. On 2 December 2019, following a marketing process by the Administrators, the Scottish Government completed a commercial transaction to bring the shipyard into public ownership. The move to bring Ferguson Marine into public ownership demonstrates Scottish Ministers' commitment to protecting the jobs at the Port Glasgow yard, delivering the two ferries under construction and securing a future for commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde.

Since the business was brought into public ownership, significant progress has been made on the vessels despite the impact that COVID-19 and shortages of local skilled labour has had on delivery schedules and pandemic-related costs. The yard did everything possible to limit the impact of the COVID-19 closures and skilled labour shortages on the delivery of the two ferries under construction. The delivery of Glen Sannox is now planned for a date in the range of July 2022 to September 2022. The delivery of 802 is now planned for April 2023 to July 2023.

The contracts for the completion of vessels 801/802 by Ferguson Marine were restructured to implement a contractual relationship which reflected the commitment from Scottish Ministers to fund the completion and delivery of the two ferry vessels. The Scottish Government entered into new contracts with Ferguson Marine which replaced the original contracts between CMAL and the shipyard. This reorganisation resulted in the vessels being transferred onto the Scottish Government's balance sheet as Assets Under Construction in partial repayment of the outstanding voted loans and also resulted in a write-off of the residual voted loan balance.


In December 2016 the Scottish Government entered into a 25-year financial guarantee relating to the hydro plant and aluminium smelter at Lochaber. This involved guaranteeing the power purchase obligations of the smelter if the business does not fulfil its obligations to pay for contracted power. The guaranteed annual amounts vary between £14m and £32m over the life of the contract. The Scottish Government receives an annual fee in return for the guarantee. The carrying value of this financial asset in the accounts was reduced to nil as a result of the implementation of the new accounting standard.


The Scottish Government consolidated accounts include as expenditure the employers' contributions payable for the financial year. Staff in the Core Scottish Government, Executive Agencies and Crown and Procurator Fiscal Service are members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). There is no pension liability in respect of the PCSPS within the Scottish Government consolidated accounts, because it is a UK scheme, administered by the Cabinet Office and it is not possible to identify the "Scottish share" of the underlying assets and liabilities of the scheme. The Cabinet Office produces separate pension scheme accounts, covering all members across the UK.

Staff in the NHS consolidated bodies can choose between the PCSPS and the NHS Superannuation Scheme for Scotland, which is an unfunded statutory public service pension scheme with benefits underwritten by the UK Government. The NHS scheme is administered by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency and annual scheme accounts are produced.

The liabilities to be met over time are not met from investments but paid out each year from the funding of the relevant schemes. The NHS scheme is funded within the Scottish Administration in the Scottish Budget; the PCSPS is dealt with through the UK annual process.


Capital Borrowing

Under Section 32 of the Scotland Act 2012, as amended by Scotland Act 2016 Section 20, additional borrowing powers were conferred on Scottish Ministers with effect from 1 April 2015. Any sums borrowed and repaid under these provisions must do so via the Scottish Consolidated Fund and hence be reflected in those accounts.

The first exercise of the Capital borrowing powers took place in 2017-18 where £450 million (the maximum available) has been drawn down to the Scottish Consolidated Fund from the National Loans Fund. This was followed by borrowing of £250 million in 2018-19, £405 million in 2019-20, and £200 million in 2020-21.

The repayment of borrowing outstanding as at 31 March 2021 is scheduled as follows:

Principal Interest Total
£m £m £m
<1 year 59.8 14.2 74.0
1 – 5 years 260.1 50.5 310.6
>5 years 899.8 99.6 999.4
Total 1,219.7 164.3 1,384.0

An arrangement was agreed with HM Treasury for notional borrowing in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to meet the budget implications of the classification decision related to the introduction of The European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA10) which required the capital value of a small number of NPD projects to be budgeted for in the years of asset construction. This required the notional amounts borrowed to be recorded against the Scottish Government's borrowing cap in each of these years, however no actual borrowing was undertaken.

Resource Borrowing

The first exercise of the Resource borrowing powers took place in 2020-21 where £207 million has been drawn down to the Scottish Consolidated Fund from the National Loans Fund. This was within the final limit for Resource Borrowing for the financial year 2020-21 of £300m. Further detail on the specific, annual and cumulative limits for Resource Borrowing are available in the Fiscal Framework Outturn Report for 2020-21[79].

The repayment of borrowing outstanding as at 31 March 2021 is scheduled as follows:

Principal £m Interest £m Total £m
<1 year 20.6 0.5 21.0
1 – 5 years 165.6 1.2 166.8
>5 years 20.8 0.0 20.8
Total 207.0 1.7 208.7

Payment Policy

The Scottish Government policy requires that all suppliers' invoices not in dispute are paid within the terms of the relevant contract. The Scottish Government aims to pay 100% of invoices, including disputed invoices once the dispute has been settled, on time in these terms.

The Scottish Government has a 10-day target for paying bills to businesses in Scotland. This aspiration is above and beyond our contractual commitment to pay suppliers within 30 days. Paying supplier bills within ten working days is seen as a key objective, and an important expression of the Scottish Government's commitment to supporting business. The Scottish Government responded to the challenges of the pandemic and remote working by deploying continuity measures and introducing additional measures to enable payments to be made as quickly as possible. Payment performance did not drop significantly.

For financial year 2020-21, the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service made 96.6% of all payments within 10 days (2019-20: 98.7%). The specific payment performance of the individual bodies consolidated here will be reported separately within their individual accounts. The core Scottish Government made 96.7% of payments within 10 days (2019-20: 99.1%). The NHS bodies in Scotland made 83.3% of all payments within 10 days (2019-20: 84.3%).

The payment performance of the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for 2020-21 was 99.5% (2019-20: 99.7%) of all transactions settled within the terms of its contractual 30 day payment policy. The specific payment performance of the individual bodies consolidated here will be reported separately within their individual accounts. The core Scottish Government made 99.6% (2019-20: 99.7%) of all payments within the terms of its contractual 30 day payment policy. The NHS bodies in Scotland made 92.9% (2019-20: 93.7%) of all payments within the terms of their contractual 30 day payment policy.

Sustainability and Environmental Reporting

The Scottish Government recognises that it has a responsibility to achieve the best results in terms of meeting sustainability criteria, and has set ambitious targets for improving the environmental performance of our estate.

The Scottish Government has developed guidance for central government and the wider public sector on the preparation of sustainability reports to complement Annual Reports and Accounts. The guidance is intended to form a key element of a sustainability reporting framework for the Scottish public sector (referred to as the Scottish Sustainability Reporting Framework). The Framework will aim to inform best-practice across the public sector and demonstrate a coherent approach which meets statutory and non-statutory sustainability reporting requirements in the most cost effective and least burdensome manner to help drive improvements in sustainability performance.

The guidance relates specifically to information to be included in Scottish Public Sector Sustainability Reports[80] intended to complement Annual Reports and Accounts and expected to be consistent with the reporting requirements flowing from the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and the principles for sustainability reporting contained in HM Treasury guidance.

Leslie Evans
Principal Accountable Officer



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