Cost of coronavirus to be met by Scottish government

Elected members have been told the Scottish government will meet the cost of coronavirus pandemic that has been incurred by the council over the last year.

Head of finance Jamie Manson told Monday’s education and families committee that staff had received assurances since the Scottish government’s budget setting for 2021/22 last month.

A report before members showed the council will receive £4.799 million from the Scottish government to meet Covid-19 costs and loss of income.

Over £1 million of that will be allocated to children’s services to help fund – among other things – digital inclusion, additional teachers and support staff and support for mental health.

Further information is expected to be provided to elected members next week.

Mr Manson said he was “content” the council would receive sufficient money to cover the current financial year’s costs.

“In the last couple of weeks, and since the Scottish government budget was announced in February, we have had a good indication we will receive sufficient money to cover the council’s coronavirus costs,” he said.

The news came as members discussed a children’s services performance report for the third quarter of 2020/21.

That provided details of the projected additional expenditure, reduced expenditure and loss of income, which are attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total net cost to the directorate for 2020/21 has been put at £1.666 million.

Council leader Steven Coutts warned the Scottish government was still operating with a draft budget.

“So we’re not at the final stage yet,” he said.

However, he said he was “very hopeful” of a positive outcome for the council.

Committee chairman George Smith said he wanted to thank the staff who had collated the relevant information.


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