Westminster provides funding for the devolved governments due to their budget shortfalls.
Although the devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland raise their own taxes, they do not collect enough to fund their programmes. The UK government fills the gap in funding with something called the Block Grant – a large payment to the three nations that aims to fill their funding deficit.
The increase this year comes for two reasons: one is that the funding naturally increases year on year anyway, while another is the increased funding for the fight against coronavirus. Last financial year (2019-2020), the UK government provided over £48 billion in funding for the devolved governments.
This is set to increase to over £61 billion this year (2020-2021). The Government states on its news and communications website that this funding shows the “value of the Union”, although anyone who is already opposed to the Union is not going to change their mind on the basis of the Block Grant.
Thanks to these payments, the UK Government is technically funding the nationalist parties that play large roles in the governance of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
These parties are the very same ones that want to see our Union destroyed, so they can be ‘free’. This demonstrates that the Government’s strategy for dealing with potential secessions from the Union is naive at best and deliberately negligent at worst.