To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the cost was of his Department's communications team in 2016-17; and what the projected costs are for 2017-18.
The communications team in the Scotland Office is resourced to enable effective engagement and communication with the public on matters relating to the UK Government. This includes supporting communications and engagement from the Secretary of State for Scotland and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on Scotland’s constitutional arrangements, including the delivery and implementation of significant new tax and welfare powers associated with the Scotland Act 2016. More recently, the Department has undertaken significant engagement on the UK Government’s approach to EU Exit, meeting and feeding information directly to the UK negotiating team from a large number of businesses and organisations across a wide variety of sectors. The team also supports all UK Government departments in their communications activities in Scotland. The cost of the communications team at the Scotland Office was £686,166.29 in 2016-17. In 2017-8 we expect the cost to be £774,567.