New arrangements will see £32 million allocated to Scotland for 2022/2023, which is £151 million less than the £183 million needed to match previous European Union (EU) Structural Fund allocations.
The UK Tory Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund fails to deliver promised funding for Scotland following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Since 2016, Scottish Ministers have tried to engage constructively with the UK Government to ensure the Shared Prosperity Fund aligned with the Scottish Government’s national aims and ambitions.
However, Scotland had been given no role in deciding how funding is allocated and which projects deliver the maximum benefits. This undermines the devolution settlement and ignores the remit of the SNP Government in devolved areas.
Kenneth Gibson MSP, Convener of Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration Committee, said:
“As suspected given the complete lack of clarity and transparency - including when Michael Gove MP finally came to our committee after months of dragging his heels - the Shared Prosperity Fund fails to deliver the replacement funding promised to Scotland.
“Communities across North Ayrshire and Scotland will now miss out on £151 million of investment in 2022/23.
“EU funding has supported infrastructure projects and community initiatives across the country since the 1970s, with Scotland receiving and delivering over £6 billion of EU Structural Funds.
“Since the Brexit vote Scotland didn’t want in 2016, the SNP Government has tried to engage constructively with UK Ministers to ensure this Fund was delivered in a meaningful way, consistent with the devolution settlement and aligned with our national economic aims and ambitions.
“Instead, they undermined devolution by failing to properly include and consult Scottish Ministers - which ultimately will lead to reduced accountability of efficient allocation of resources and ultimately failing to meet the needs of Scotland’s communities.”
The Shared Prosperity Fund will see Scotland allocated £32 million in 2022/2023; £55 million in 2023/24 and £125 million in 2024/25. Even the third year of funding delivers much less than Scotland received before the UK’s EU Exit.
The SNP Government previously calculated a sum of £162 million per year would be needed to replace the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, increasing to £183 million per year when LEADER funding and the EU Territorial Cooperation Programmes are added in.