More than £1.8bn of extra funding has been allocated to tackling the impact of coronavirus in Scotland.
Support for business and the wider economy of £570m will include grants via the Strategic Framework, funding for local support packages, the newly self-employed hardship fund, digital support, Local Authority Discretionary Business Funding and remaining allocations from the £97m support for culture and heritage.
The funding was detailed in a letter from finance secretary Kate Forbes to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee.
“The UK Treasury has indicated that this funding covers the period up to March 2021, so I have allocated £330m 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,” she wrote.
“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.”
The latest COVID-19 consequentials bring the total received by the Scottish Government to £8.2bn.
Around £600m has been provided to health and social care, wider public health initiatives and welfare support.
Around £500m of funding to support was promised for the continued provision of transport and funding for income shortfalls within partner bodies, including Police Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, Registers of Scotland and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service – as well as mitigating shortfalls in devolved tax as a direct result of Covid-19.
The statement noted that these figures “remain a snapshot of a dynamic funding position”, with final allocations to be formalised as part of the Spring Budget Revision.