Funding allocated to devolved administrations

34.4The UK Government's Spending Review also determines overall United Kingdom funding for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The portion of the funding for these devolved administrations classified as within Departmental Expenditure Limits is determined principally by a formula reflecting a population-based share of planned changes in comparable spending allocations to be expended in England for United Kingdom Departments.1

Much of the cash to support this funding is distributed to the administrations from amounts voted by Parliament as part of the Supply procedure described in this chapter. Subject to funding for certain United Kingdom programmes administered by devolved institutions, it is for respectively the Scottish Parliament and Government, the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government, and the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive to determine the allocation of funds.2


  1. 1. Since the late 1970s the non-statutory Barnett formula has determined how devolved administrations' Departmental Expenditure Limits (block grants) change from one year to the next. The formula does not determine the absolute level of the grants. The block grants (determined by the Barnett formula) make up the majority of the devolved administrations' Departmental Expenditure Limits.
  2. 2. The Acts establishing the devolved administrations gave them power over expenditure allocations. See also HM Treasury, Funding the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly: A Statement of Funding Policy (7th edn, November 2015). Alongside funding provided by the UK Government, the devolved administrations are each able to generate further funding through various powers including taxation, charging and borrowing. As a result of the continued absence of a Northern Ireland Executive following the Assembly election on 2 March 2017, Parliament has passed legislation providing for the authorisation and appropriation of the Northern Ireland Budget: Northern Ireland Budget Bill 2017–19; Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipations and Adjustments Bill) 2017–19; and Northern Ireland Budget (No. 2) Bill 2017–19.