Pandemic has “shifted the fiscal landscape”.
New figures highlight the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the economy and public spending in Scotland.
The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) 2020-21 statistics show record public spending of £99.2 billion, an increase of 21% on 2019-20. This increase reflects the scale of Scottish Government support during the pandemic, with £9 billion invested in public health measures, NHS Scotland, businesses and financial help for individuals.
Revenues totalled £62.8 billion, down from £66.2 billion in 2019-20. This includes a drop in North Sea receipts of 35% as worldwide demand for oil and gas fell sharply, as well as lower receipts from non-domestic rates and VAT.
In common with countries around the world, the significant rise in spending caused by COVID-19 meant Scotland’s notional deficit, the difference between income and expenditure, rose – up 13.6 percentage points to 22.4% of GDP.