While the devolved administrations are well-funded to continue their response to Covid-19, and have their own reserves and contingency funds, any additional in-year Barnett funding will not be confirmed until early 2022 through the Supplementary Estimates process. HM Treasury has therefore announced that additional funding will be made available to the devolved administrations to provide greater certainty and allow them to plan as they tackle Covid-19 during the crucial weeks ahead.
HM Treasury will set this amount of additional funding in the coming days and will keep it under review in the following weeks.
The UK Government has already provided the devolved administrations with an extra £12.6 billion through the Barnett formula this year – this includes £1.3 billion confirmed at the recent Autumn Budget and takes their total funding this year to £77.6 billion.
This is on top of UK Government spending on vaccines and tests for the whole of the UK and UK-wide support for businesses and jobs.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Throughout this pandemic, the United Kingdom has stood together as one family, and we will continue to do so.
“We are working with the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to drive the vaccine rollout to all corners of the United Kingdom and ensure people and businesses all across the country are supported.”
If the amount of funding provided up front to each devolved administration is more than the Barnett consequentials confirmed at Supplementary Estimates then any extra amount will be repaid in 2022-23, or over the Spending Review period if necessary.
If the Barnett consequentials are higher than the amount provided up front the devolved administrations will keep the extra funding.