Treasury funding 'higher per head' in Scotland - because of falling population

The Treasury's allocation to devolved nations is investigated annually by the National Audit Office.
The Treasury's allocation to devolved nations is investigated annually by the National Audit Office.
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The amount of funding allocated per head to Scots by the Treasury is increasing due to the falling population north of the border compared to England, the National Audit Office has said.

The Scottish Government received the second largest per head amount of the devolved nations, at £10,881 - after Northern Ireland, where the treasury funding stands at £11,190 per head. The Welsh administration received £10,397 per head and England £9,080 per person.

However, it warned that in some instances, it can be difficult to determine the basis of how funding to the devolved nations has been allocated.

The report said: “For example, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been given additional funding as a result of money being allocated to UK government departments for EU exit-related work. However, it is hard to understand how HM Treasury calculated the additional funding, which has led the Scottish government to query how much it has received.”

The NAO said that as a large part of funding is rolled forward annually and unaffected by population changes, funding per person is increasing for the devolved administrations as their populations fall relative to that of England. The annual investigation by the NAO found that outside of spending reviews, the devolved administrations can receive extra funding when spending priorities change and more funding is provided to UK government departments.

It added that the devolved administrations told the NAO that they received less money than they expected following an announcement in June 2018 that NHS England would be given £20.5 billion of additional funding. The report said that this is because they only receive additional funding if the money given to UK government departments by HM Treasury is financed from new funding rather than from within existing budgets.