Covid funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland doubled

FILE PHOTO: Wads of British Pound Sterling banknotes are stacked in piles at the Money Service Austria company's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Extra funding to tackle Covid-19 across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been doubled.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the boost was to ensure people in the devolved nations were supported “in the face of this serious health crisis”.

The total sum has been doubled from the recently-announced £430 million.

Of this, the Scottish Government is being allocated £440 million, the Welsh Government £270 million and the Northern Ireland Executive £150 million.

The Treasury said the amounts, which are in addition to the devolved nations’ autumn Budget funding, will be kept under review.

Mr Sunak said: “Following discussions with the devolved administrations, we are now doubling the additional funding available.

“We will continue to listen to and work with the devolved administrations in the face of this serious health crisis, to ensure we’re getting the booster to people all over the UK and that people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are supported.”

The announcement comes after Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the UK Government’s initial offer of £220 million to help in the fight against the coronavirus had left the country millions of pounds worse off.

Following a Cobra meeting on Wednesday, Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, wrote to Mr Sunak urging him to take more action to help deal with the impact of the Omicron variant, and described the £220 million sum as “entirely inadequate”.