SNP sparks confusion over claim Scotland will receive only 0.1% of £30bn UK COVID budget

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Ms Forbes said Scotland had received £21 million in Barnett consequentials out of £800million promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to Scotland. She hit out that Scotland had been “shortchanged”, claiming the move “bypasses devolution”.

Speaking in Holyrood, she said: “The Chancellor’s announcement of support for the economy and jobs yesterday resulted in just £21 million in consequentials for the Scottish government.

“Despite the Chancellor announcing measures worth up to £30billion yesterday, most of it bypasses devolution and does not provide the Scottish Government with the funding that we need.”

But critics have immediately disputed these claims calling Ms Forbes comments “misleading and inaccurate”.

Kevin Hauge, chairman of These Islands, a Unionist form originally called Ms Forbes claims “lies” but quickly apologised.

However, in a post, Mr Hauge stressed that Ms Forbes claims were “intended to stoke grievance by implying that Scotland is only seeing 0.1 percent of the £30bn”.

He added: “That in itself is at best pretty disappointing, at worst downright outrageous.

“But even if we grant her the semantic benefit of the doubt – if we assume she was expecting her followers to interpret this as an issue of control of spending rather than the absolute amount of support the Scottish economy is receiving – the figures she quotes make no sense.

“The Barnett Consequentials resulting from the figures announced yesterday will clearly be greater than she claims and she divides this wrong figure by the wrong figure any way to get to her 0.1 percent claim.

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“This is the sort of behaviour that gives people like me headaches.”

David Phillips, IFS think tank associate director, said it is “unusual” to only focus on schemes first announced on Wednesday stressing that it causes confusion.

He said: “When asked whether the Scottish Government would receive just £21m as a result of the Plan for Jobs as the Scottish Finance Minister has claimed, I said that I couldn’t see how you would arrive at such a number given the schemes just mentioned, as well as the stamp duty holiday for England and Northern Ireland. It would get much more.

“In a big-picture sense, this is correct: the Scottish Government will get far more than £21m.

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“Because stamp duty is devolved to Scotland it will get much more than that to enable it to enact its own tax holiday or spend on other measures.

“Exactly how much is not yet clear – it will depend on updated forecasts and ultimately out-turns for stamp duty revenues in England and Northern Ireland.

“But initial estimates published by the OBR this week suggest it could amount to around £120m spread over this year and next.”

Another economic think tank, the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, published an analysis on the impact of the Chancellor’s statement on the Scottish budget.

It said: “As usual, politicians are ‘technically’ correct in the lines that they have used.

“But the failure to provide clarity and the overall picture leads to confusion.”

A spokesman for the Treasury said: “To say the Scottish Government has only received £21m is completely misleading.

“Following the Summer Economic Update, the Scottish Government has received an additional £800 million, taking the total to £4.6 billion through the Barnett formula since March.


“This is on top of UK and GB wide measures such as the massive funding boost to jobcentres, a £2bn Kickstart scheme to help young people into jobs, a VAT cut for the hospitality sector, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said in response: “The 0.1 percent figure quoted by the Cabinet Secretary correctly states what proportion of the UK Government’s £30billion of additional spending to support economic recovery will be coming to Scotland in Barnett consequentials.

“The figure quoted comes directly from the Treasury’s own calculations – and has been confirmed by the analysis of both the Fraser of Allander Institute and the Scottish Parliament Information Centre.”

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