The vast majority of the £4 billion spent in Scotland on fighting coronavirus has come from the UK Government, it has emerged.
The Scottish Government has revealed that more than £3.5 billion had arrived in emergency support through Barnett Consequential funds from Westminster.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Donald Cameron said:
“This shows just how committed the UK Government is to supporting Scotland through this crisis."
“Essentially, nearly 90 per cent of the extra funding detailed in this document has been provided by the broad shoulders of the UK, and that’s before any account is taken of the very significant financial support in the shape of furloughing and other sums from the UK Government."
“It’s evidence that, in times of real crisis, the UK sticks together remarkably well."
Mr Cameron, a Highlands and Islands MSP, added:
“This support is particularly important for a region like mine which has a high dependency on sectors like hospitality and tourism which have been hit very hard. By working together all four nations will be able to emerge from the pandemic ready to face a brighter future.”
The cash has been used to arm the NHS and other social care services, and mitigate the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the economy. And the £4 billion revealed today doesn’t even include the huge swathes of support which have come by way of the furlough scheme.
The figures were set out by ministers in yesterday’s budget revision document, and means almost 90 per cent of total support comes from the UK Government.
Once again, official figures show the huge support the Union is delivering to the Scottish people - already around £730 for every person in Scotland, and that is not even counting the additional £billions from the UK Government funded worker furlough scheme, which is helping support hundreds of thousands of Scottish workers.
It is thus disappointing, if entirely predictable, that rather than thank the UK Government for this support, on behalf of the Scottish people, SNP ministers prefer to complain about minor variations in the allocations of the funds, and carp on about "lack of guarantees", when they themselves have been withholding vast sums of UK Government aid from Councils, businesses and sole traders that should have been allocated and given out weeks ago.
The sad fact is that the SNP cannot admit that had it got its way in 2014, an independent Scotland would now be in economic and social chaos, bankrupt, fighting a currency crisis, begging for IMF bailouts, and shut out of any EU support schemes (such as they are).
The briefing stated: “The spending has been largely funded by a consequential rise in the block grant of more than £3.5 billion resulting from extra UK Government COVID-19 spending, and £112 million of consequentials received following the last UK Budget. A further £255 million has been re-prioritised from within existing departmental budgets.”