The extra boost of up to £3,000 per person in public spending is a sign Boris Johnson’s Tories are helping Scotland deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. New analysis by the Scottish Conservatives and Express.co.uk shows the UK Government has spent a record £19billion.
The party claims it shows Scotland’s increasing reliance on the UK Government to help deal with COVID-19.
The spending funded a huge range of COVID-related employment schemes, business loans and welfare assistance.
More than £6billion has been spent on the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help save close to a million jobs and assist Scottish firms during the pandemic.
Approximately £580million went towards welfare schemes including uplifts for working tax credits and Universal Credit while £3billion has been provided to small and medium-sized businesses to help them survive the various lockdowns.
The funding is in addition to the £8.2billion in Barnett consequentials paid to the Scottish Government since the start of the pandemic.
The latest figures show that Scotland’s population in June 2019 was 5,463,300.
When divided by the £19billion in funding, it shows the UK Government could provide up to £3,000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland to tackle COVID-19 this year.
It comes as Stephen Barclay, Chief Secretary to The Treasury announced funding of up to £800million was being guaranteed for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This means a further £400million for the SNP led Scottish Government, £200million for the Labour-led Welsh Government and £200million for the Northern Ireland Executive will be handed out by Westminster.
In a statement, Mr Barclay said: “We’ve already committed unprecedented levels of support to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“This extra funding will provide the nations with the certainty they need to plan through these difficult months.
“We remain committed to an economic recovery for the whole of the United Kingdom and will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations to support people and businesses.”
The funding boost comes as the income tax paid in Scotland is forecast to drop by more than £6.2billion over the next four years, according to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR)
Dean Lockhart, Scottish Conservative shadow constitution spokesman said: “The billions worth of support the UK Government has injected into Scotland during the pandemic has made a massive difference to Scots across the entire country.
“It has been spent on a wide range of schemes to protects jobs, supporting local firms and the neediest in society during these extremely challenging times.
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“The economic and other benefits of Scotland being part of the United Kingdom has never been more evident.
“In contrast, the SNP’s response to COVID-19 has been slow and confused.
“The new business grants announced by Kate Forbes this month won’t even be available until 2021, causing hardship for countless local firms, restaurants and hotels over the Christmas and New Year period.”
More than 79,000 businesses in Scotland have also benefited from UK Government loan schemes, worth more than £2.9billion and 930,000 jobs have been supported under the Furlough scheme.
In response, Alison Thewliss MP, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor told Express.co.uk: “The Tories never seem to mention that people in Scotland pay taxes to the UK Exchequer as well – and this support from the UK Government while welcome, is simply them using the borrowing powers that the Scottish Parliament does have.”