QUESTIONS have been raised over how the SNP spent £9.7billion of “Union” funding from the UK Government, Scotland’s Auditor General has warned.
In his latest report on the impact of coronavirus, Stephen Boyle said the Scottish Government had received an extra £9.7billion to its budget of more than £40billion during the 2020/21 financial year. He said the transparency around public spending from the Scottish Government has become more difficult as governments work to rebuild the economy.
Mr Boyle warned in the report that the COVID-19 pandemic had created financial management challenges for the SNP led Scottish Government.
The Auditor General made clear there had been more than 170 public spending announcements connected to COVID-19 and called on all levels of government to ensure the “pandemic pound” delivered value for money.
As well as this, the report points out that up until the end of 2020, the SNP led administration had only made £7billion worth of spending announcements in response to the pandemic.
This leaves a further £2.7billion unallocated and not spent by the SNP administration, the Auditor General said.
Mr Boyle said: “It will likely become increasingly hard to identify what is, and what isn’t, Covid spending, as spending links more widely with economic development issues, and other government goals.
“This means that transparency over spending pressures, progress and risks to delivery must be maintained.
“Scottish Government responses need to work alongside UK Government and local government measures.
“The frequency of spending decisions by the UK and Scottish governments and individual public bodies, such as NHS boards and local authorities, has made tracking how interventions are working together more complex.