SCOTLAND’S Finance Secretary has warned that the costs of dealing with Covid-19 are significantly higher than the funding provided by the UK Government 

Kate Forbes stressed that extra funding announced for Scotland, which is based on spending to tackle the virus south of the Border, is just estimated - which she said creates massive uncertainty for Holyrood's budgets. 

Ms Forbes also warned that a previous commitment of £60 million in business support "never materialised". 

She was speaking after it emerged spending to deal with the coronavirus crisis in Scotland has reached more than £4 billion. 

Budget revisions published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday set out the financial details of ministers' response to the emergency, with the bulk of the money coming from a £3.5 billion rise in Holyrood's block grant as a consequence of the UK Government's increased Covid-19 spending. 

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The increase is offset by the decision to reduce business rates, so the Scottish Government's overall budget for the 2020-21 financial year will rise from £49.25 billion to £52.03 billion. 

But Ms Forbes told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme that the figures show how the "costs associated with coronavirus are significantly higher than the consequential funding we have received from the Treasury". 

She added: "My greatest headache is that the money we get from Treasury is still estimates, so we make our funding commitments, we promise to support local government, the health service, businesses, but all of that is based on estimates from the UK Government. 

"We've already seen this week that an announcement of around £60 million of business support that was made a few weeks ago has not materialised, and we've been told that actually that money won't come." 

The Scottish Government has pledged £2.3 billion to support businesses north of the border throughout the crisis, but the Finance Secretary said: "If any of that £2.3 billion doesn't materialise, that leaves me with a massive headache. 

"My budget is fixed, I cannot automatically create headroom. I can't borrow, which the UK Government can do. 

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"I'm very grateful for the money that comes through, but the point is it introduces huge uncertainty into our budget, and uncertainty is normal, but we do need the tools to be able to manage that uncertainty. 

"That's why I have been making the point to the Treasury that with this uncertainty you need to give me the tools with flexibilities and new fiscal powers to manage it."