Covid funding plea
uk government urged to provide clarity on consequentials.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has urged the UK Government to provide certainty when announcing funding for Scotland to tackle the Covid crisis.
On May 2 the UK Government announced a £617 million extension to business grants, which it advised would generate £60 million of funding consequentials under the Barnett Formula. This was then duly committed to the Scottish Government’s Covid business response.
However, the UK Government informed the Scottish Government this week that this additional funding would not now materialise, increasing the pressure on the Scottish budget.
Additionally, last month £35 million of consequentials was earmarked to the Scottish Government in respect of charity support direct grant, but this was amended by the Treasury to £25 million at a later date.
Ms Forbes, who has written to UK Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay to raise the Scottish Government's concerns, recently said:
“I welcome the close and constructive dialogue that we are generally having with the Treasury at ministerial and officials level. I appreciate and value that productive working relationship in these exceptional circumstances.
“However, it is deeply problematic when we are given mixed messages and the funding position changes. Consequently we have committed to spending £70 million that we have now been told we will no longer receive. This is hugely frustrating and undermines the Scottish budget.
“My counterparts from Wales and Northern Ireland share this concern. We have made clear to the Treasury the risk of late budget reductions unwinding the funding pledged so far. That is why we are seeking assurances that no in-year reductions will be applied to our budget.
“I endeavour to be fully transparent with the Scottish Parliament about updates to the funding position, and am consistently pressed by respective sectors and parties to act quickly in passing on Barnett consequentials to the areas in question.
“Therefore I am seeking reassurance from the Treasury that funding announcements will be robust and reliable enough to act upon without creating unnecessary financial risks. As well as certainty on funding we now, more than ever, urgently need the Scottish Parliament to be given greater financial powers to ensure that we can continue to meet the challenges caused by the pandemic.”
Latest News from
Cross border operation welcomed02/07/2020 15:05:00
The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce has welcomed a successful cross border operation where Police Scotland arrested 59 people and seized more than £25 million pounds worth of controlled drugs.
Expert Advisory Group on migration and population02/07/2020 13:05:00
Experts report UK plans could trigger fall in migration.
The Independent Review into the Closure of the New School Butterstone02/07/2020 12:05:00
The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills commissioned this independent Review, conducted by James Martin CBE, into the closure of the New School Butterstone to consider the procedures and circumstances which led to the closure.
UK Immigration Policy After Leaving The EU: Impacts on Scotland's Economy, Population and Society - July 2020 update02/07/2020 10:05:00
An update to the February 2019 report by the independent Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population, considering the impact of the UK Government’s proposed immigration policy changes and how these may affect Scotland.
Healthier, greener town centres01/07/2020 13:05:00
Optimising town centres for the aftermath of COVID-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK fiscal path – a new approach30/06/2020 15:05:00
This paper sets out ten principles the Scottish Government believes the UK Government should follow to support the UK economy and public finances as we begin to recover from the impacts of coronavirus.
Safe return to college and university30/06/2020 12:05:00
Guidance maps out full reopening of Scottish campuses.
Blueprint for economic recovery30/06/2020 10:05:00
A UK-wide £80 billion stimulus package should be created to regenerate the economy and reduce inequalities following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a new Scottish Government report proposes.
Resuming cervical screening30/06/2020 08:05:00
Patients whose appointments were cancelled can now contact GP practice.