Prince's Street, Edinburgh

Scottish Government spends nearly £50 billion on public services

New figures show that the Scottish Government spent almost £50 billion on public services to tackle child poverty, reduce carbon emissions and support the NHS.

The Scottish Government spent a total of £49.3 billion in the 2023-24 financial year, leaving an outstanding £292 million which has been carried over into the next financial year.

More than £19 billion was invested into health and social care, while £5.2 billion was spent on social security benefits. This included £249 million on Scottish Child Payment and funding to introduce Carer Support Payment in pilot areas, ahead of a full roll-out in 2024.

Public Finance Minister Ivan McKee said: “These figures show once again how this government is prudently and competently managing the public finances while delivering funding for the things that matter to people across Scotland, not least the NHS and action to tackle child poverty.

“The Scottish Government has consistently balanced its budgets each and every year. This represented a significant challenge last year, as the continued impact of persistently high inflation, pressure on public sector pay, backlogs as a result of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine combined to place pressure on the public finances.”

Scottish Government public sector spending

Meanwhile, more than 2.3 million people benefitted from free public transport as a result of a £422 million investment into bus services and concessionary travel.

Other spending areas included a £220 million investment into the Heat in Buildings Programme to help deliver greener and more energy-efficient homes.

The Scottish Government also continued to provide Just Transition Fund grant funding, a ten-year scheme worth £500 million to support the transition to net zero in the North East and Moray.

Image credit: iStock


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