Scotland will receive £780m from the UK government to deal with the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, it has been announced today.
The £780m is due to Scotland via Barnett consequentials resulting from Coronavirus budget measures and the Coronavirus Response Fund announced last week by the UK government.
In response, the Scottish Conservatives are asking the Scottish government to ringfence the entire £780 million for COVID-19 measures and to follow the UK’s lead and establish a Response Fund to support the NHS and other public services with the financial resources it needs as the virus continues to spread.
Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary has also called for urgent help to be given to the tourism and retail sectors in particular as they are currently bearing the brunt of the behavioural effects of the virus.
Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary said:
“We are in no doubt of the significant impact of COVID-19 on our society, economy and our public services.
“This substantial £780m funding package from the UK government will help Scotland prepare for, and mitigate, the effects of this global pandemic.
“Given the extreme and widespread impact of this health crisis, the entire £780m must be ringfenced for COVID-19 by the Scottish government.
“In addition, the Scottish government should follow the UK government’s lead and establish a Response Fund for the NHS and other public services to alleviate any funding concerns.
“We know that the tourism and retail sectors are hardest hit right now, and special support should be directed to them as an urgent priority.
“Everyone agrees this is going to be a very difficult time for our economy and our health service – we can, and must, focus financial support where it is needed most.”