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At a glance: What does the budget mean for Scotland?

At a glance: What does the budget mean for Scotland?
At a glance: What does the budget mean for Scotland?

AN additional £320m over 2023-24 and 2024-25 is heading to Holyrood as a result of the decisions taken by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in today's budget.

The extra money is a result of the Barnett consequentials from some fairly big spending pledges in England.

One of the biggest was the decision to extend free childcare to all children over nine months in England.

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The Barnett Formula means that when the UK Government spends on a devolved policy area, it ensures that a proportionate share of additional funding heads to the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There's no obligation on ministers in Edinburgh to follow suit, but there may be some political pressure from the opposition and from some of those vying to replace Nicola Sturgeon.

Humza Yousaf has already pledged to extend free childcare to one and two-year-olds if he becomes the next first minister.

Other announcements in the budget which will apply to Scotland, include the Chancellor's pledge to pay the childcare costs of parents on Universal Credit moving into work or increasing their hours. This will be paid upfront rather than in arrears.

The maximum a parent can claim will also rise to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children – an increase of around 50%.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt tells MPs UK will avoid technical recession

Scots will also be affected by the increase in the pensions Annual Allowance from £40,000 to £60,000.The abolition of the Lifetime Allowance will also apply north of the border.

The Scotland Office say Scotland will also benefit from a £100m investment in the Innovation Accelerators programme which will fund 26 research and design projects including two quantum projects in Glasgow led by the University of Glasgow and
M-Squared Lasers Limited.

READ MORE: Scotch Whisky Association anger over Chancellor's alcohol duty hike

Mr Hunt has also relaunched the Investment Zones first touted under Liz Truss. There will be at least one of these 'high-potential knowledge-intensive growth clusters' in Scotland.

The UK Government will also provide £8.6m in additional funding for Edinburgh Festivals, and another £1m for five community projects in Scotland, including Aberfeldy Sports Club in Moray, repairs to the Inveraray Pier, and a community grocery shop and cafe in the Kyle Lochalsh in the Highlands.