Treasury announces £1.1bn Covid support fund for Scotland

UK Government says the cash takes the amount allocated through the Barnett formula since pandemic began to £9.7bn.

Treasury announces £1.1bn Covid support fund for Scotland Getty Images

The Treasury has announced a further £1.1bn of coronavirus support funding for the Scottish Government.

The UK Government said the cash takes the amount allocated through the Barnett formula north of the border since the start of the pandemic to £9.7bn.

It said the £1.1bn can be spent now or carried over into the 2021/22 financial year.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “From the outset of this crisis, people and businesses in Scotland have been able to rely on the UK Government.

“UK Treasury schemes such as furlough, support for the self-employed and business loans have helped to protect jobs and livelihoods.

“The UK Government will continue to offer this support and to give the Scottish Government the resources and flexibility it needs to fulfil its responsibilities to the people of Scotland.

“I would urge the Scottish Government to make the full and best use of this funding as well as their devolved powers to support people, businesses and public services.”

The Scottish Government welcomed the funding and pledged to set out plans for the cash within days.

However, a spokesman repeated calls for devolution of greater borrowing powers.

The spokesman said: “This funding is welcome, however late the notification at this point in the financial year, and we will set out to Parliament in the coming days our proposals for allocating these amounts as part of our on-going response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The process again demonstrates, however, the shortcomings of the devolved funding arrangements, where we are only informed of Barnett consequentials long after the UK Government’s associated policy decisions have been made.

“Moreover the Scottish Government cannot borrow at its own hand to fund spending in response to Covid-19 or support the economy in the way that countries around the world have done.”

He called for the review of the Fiscal Framework to give Scotland further powers and fiscal flexibilities.