SCOTLAND’S per-head share of funding from the Treasury is rising because our population is falling compared to England, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The Scottish Government received £10,881 per head in 2017/18, behind Northern Ireland (£11,190), but ahead of Wales (£10,397) and England (£9080).

“As a large part of funding is simply rolled forward annually and unaffected by population changes, funding per person is increasing for the devolved administrations as their populations fall relative to that of England,” the NAO said. “In some instances, it can be difficult to determine the basis of how funding has been allocated.

“For example, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been given additional funding as a result of money being allocated to UK Government departments

for EU exit-related work.

“However, it is hard to understand how HM Treasury calculated the additional funding, which has led the Scottish Government to query how much it has received.”

The NAO said England, Scotland and Wales did not receive extra funding as a result of the cash allocated to Northern Ireland as part of the agreement between

the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party in 2017, but neither did England receive additional funding as a consequence of the £375 million allocated to the devolved administrations for “city deals” since 2015.

The report said the additional devolved administrative and legal powers had changed the way each nation’s funding was calculated, with “nation-specific” adjustments put in place depending on the extent of devolution.

However, the Scottish Government had sought a proportionate amount of extra cash and flexibility for Scotland in line with the Barnett formula, from yesterday’s Spring Statement.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government maintains the view that it is unacceptable for the UK Government to provide £1 billion of funding for mainstream devolved public services in Northern Ireland without applying the Barnett formula.

“This, along with the latest funding allocation of an additional £140m in Northern Ireland’s 2019-20 Budget, has meant that Scotland has lost out on equivalent funding of around £3.3bn.”