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Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland 2020-21

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s net fiscal balance has weakened since last year, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on public finances and economies in Scotland, the UK, and globally, according to statistics published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician Roger Halliday.

The latest Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) statistics show the first estimate of the full impact of the pandemic on public finances. However, the final impact is not yet known and the estimates will continue to be improved in future publications.

Net Fiscal Balance 2020-21

This is the difference between total revenue and total public sector expenditure including capital investment. The net fiscal balance:

  • Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of 22.4% of GDP (£36.3 billion).
  • Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of 23.8% of GDP (£36.9 billion).
  • For the UK, was a deficit of 14.2% of GDP.

Total Public Sector Revenue 2020-21

  • Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea, Scottish public sector revenue was estimated as £62.8 billion (7.9% of UK revenue). Of this, £0.5 billion was North Sea revenue. Scottish non-North Sea revenue was £62.3 billion (7.8% of UK revenue).
  • Non-North Sea revenue fell from £65.3 billion in 2019-20, a fall of 4.6% as the pandemic decreased revenue, particularly non-domestic rates, VAT, and fuel duties.
  • Scotland’s illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue was £0.5 billion in 2020-21, down from £0.8 billion in 2019-20, as the fall in the oil price during the pandemic reduced revenue.
  • Including an illustrative geographical share of North Sea revenue, Scotland’s public sector revenue is equivalent to £11,496 per person, £382 less than the UK average. Excluding North Sea revenue, it is £11,395 per person, £477 less than the UK average.

Total Public Sector Expenditure 2020-21

  • Total expenditure for the benefit of Scotland by the Scottish Government, UK Government, and all other parts of the public sector was £99.2 billion. Spending increased by 21.0%, reflecting the costs of the health and wider economic interventions in response pandemic. This is equivalent to 9.1% of total UK public sector expenditure, or £18,144 per person, which is £1,828 per person greater than the UK average.

The figures are produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics.


Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2020-21 - (

The aim of GERS is to enhance public understanding of fiscal issues in Scotland. The primary objective is to estimate a set of public sector accounts for Scotland through detailed analysis of official UK and Scottish Government finance statistics. The report is designed to allow users to understand and analyse Scotland’s fiscal position under different scenarios within the current constitutional framework.

GERS is a National Statistics publication, which means that it is produced independently of Scottish Ministers and has been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority as being produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. This means the statistics have been found to meet user needs, to be methodologically sound, explained well and produced free of political interference.

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