Over 300 individual spending measures have been announced to date, with the largest amounts going to business, health and social care, and local government.
Spending has been funded by £8.6bn of additional Barnett consequentials from the UK Government in 2020/21, and by reallocating funding from existing budgets.
£1.15bn in Barnett funding was carried over to the 2021/22 budget. But the UK Government has not guaranteed the level of Barnett funding for 2021/22, as it did in 2020/21. This makes medium-term financial planning and dealing with uncertainties arising from the pandemic more challenging.
Stephen Boyle, auditor general for Scotland, said: “As Scotland moves into the recovery phase from the pandemic, it will likely become increasingly difficult to define what is, and what isn’t, Covid-19 spending.
“The Scottish Government is managing financial pressures which predate the pandemic, such as spending on health and social care.”
He added: “That means difficult decisions lie ahead and, despite the challenges, it increases the need for a medium-term plan to manage the levels of uncertainty and volatility facing the Scottish budget.”