More Holyrood support

Johnson backs union vow with £1.9bn Scots top-up

Boris Johnson in Orkney: commitment to communities

Boris Johnson has followed up his trip to Scotland by handing Nicola Sturgeon a £1.9 billion top-up to help fight the affects of the Covid-19 virus.

The Prime Minister declared his commitment to supporting communities across the UK during a visit to Scotland aimed at selling the benefits of the union.

He has backed up the pledge with a new cash payment that takes the total additional support since March to £6.5bn over and above the normal Spring Budget allocation.

It should provide the Scottish government with enough financial flexibility to plan for the months ahead, said the Treasury in a statement issued tonight.

Any changes to the devolved administrations funding are normally confirmed at the end of the financial year, but the Treasury said the new finance means the Scottish Government has the certainty to spend it immediately on the NHS and additional business support.

We said we would do everything we could to support the whole of the UK – and that is exactly what we have done

– Steve Barclay, Treasury minister

The latest funding is on top of the 2019 Spending Round settlement which was the biggest day-to-day funding increase in a decade.

It follows the Prime Minister’s visit to Orkney on Thursday where he reaffirmed his commitment to the union, and pledged to “build back better”.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay, who will be in Edinburgh on Friday, said: “At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we said we would do everything we could to support the whole of the UK – whether that’s saving jobs or ensuring our vital NHS has the equipment it needs. And that is exactly what we have done.

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“Today we go one step further by giving the Scottish Government the certainty they need to plan their own support schemes over the next few months.

“This is yet another sign of our support for the Union and commitment to securing an economic recovery for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

To date, more than 890,000 jobs in Scotland have been supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

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