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Latest COVID-19 funding

Wed 9 Dec 20

Money for business support and vaccine programme

More than £1.8 billion of extra funding has been allocated to tackling the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland.

It covers areas including health, transport and business support, accounting for all but £330 million of the latest consequentials generated by UK Government spending. The remainder will be used to meet further urgent demands relating to both COVID-19 and Brexit up to the end of March 2021.

The funding is detailed in a letter from Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee.

From the outset, I have ensured that the money we receive is distributed as quickly as possible to where it is needed most. Our decisions have provided vital additional resources to our NHS, schools and other public services, they have kept our transport system running and provided much needed financial support for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

To provide full transparency, I detailed earlier allocations in the summer and autumn budget revisions. This latest round will deliver measures such as the COVID-19 vaccination programme, local business support packages and free school meals over the holidays.

The UK Treasury has indicated that this funding covers the period up to March 2021, so I have allocated £330 million as a contingency to ensure we are in a position to provide further support to health and businesses, including for issues arising from Brexit, as it is required over the coming months.

Our limited borrowing powers mean we do not have flexibility to increase spending to meet demand and therefore must manage our expenditure – much of which is demand led so cannot be accurately calculated in advance - within the consequentials provided.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

 

The latest allocations include:

  • around £600 million for health and social care, wider public health initiatives and welfare support. This includes the COVID-19 vaccination programme, test and trace and the £500 bonus for health and social care workers. 
  • support for business and the wider economy totalling £570 million, including funding for the strategic framework, local business support packages, the newly self-employed hardship fund and local authority discretionary business funding
  • an estimated £139 million of previously announced funding for government, bringing the overall support package to councils to more than £1 billion
  • around £500 million to support transport services and cover pandemic-related income shortfalls within organisations such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

The latest COVID-19 consequentials bring the total received by the Scottish Government to £8.2 billion.

Read a copy of Ms Forbes’ letter to the Finance and Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford.

A further update on COVID-19 spending will be provided through the Spring Budget Revision in the New Year.

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