Treasury announces £1.1bn Covid support for Scotland

Scottish government welcomes funding but calls for greater financial powers

Peter Stubley
Monday 15 February 2021 07:43
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A further £1.1bn in coronavirus support funding will be allocated to the Scottish government, bringing the total for the pandemic to £9.7bn.

The Treasury said the extra money can be spent now or carried over into the 2021-22 financial year.

Steve Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury, 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 but called for devolution of greater borrowing powers to give Scotland more flexibility.

A spokesperson 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 ... 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."

The Scottish government said it would set out plans for the funding within a few days.

Last month Boris Johnson claimed Scotland would have been unable to fight Covid-19 as effectively without England’s backing, as he sought to tackle growing calls for a second independence referendum.

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