Funding Consequentials

– in the Scottish Parliament on 27th May 2020.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

What clarity have the devolved Administrations received from the United Kingdom Government about receipt of funding consequentials following the extension to business grants?

The First Minister:

We have the details about consequentials that the UK Government has announced publicly. Based on the strength of those public announcements, we have made commitments to pass on every single penny. However, as Kenneth Gibson said in his question, suggestions have recently been made that elements of that consequential funding will not materialise, and that if there are underspends at UK level that funding might be clawed back. We do not yet have certainty or absolute clarity on that, but the issue will be followed up assiduously and vigorously by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.

I hope that all members will join us in making it clear to the UK Government the expectation that consequentials that have been announced will flow through in full. We have committed the funding, so if the UK Government claws the consequentials back, we will be left in the invidious position of not being able to honour the commitments that we have made. I do not think that any member wants us to be in that position.