NICOLA Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government is facing a £48m hit to its finances as a new funding row broke out with the Treasury.

The First Minister took to Twitter as a Cobra meeting was to take place to discuss funding with the four nations amid new warnings of the Omicron variant.

Sturgeon and the leaders of the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland want the UK government to reintroduce a furlough scheme.

READ MORE: Omicron: Nicola Sturgeon to attend urgent Cobra meeting on Wednesday

During her statement to Holyrood yesterday, the First Minister set out new advice and restrictions in light of the further pressures on the NHS - which is already on an emergency footing.

As she got to her feet, the Treasury announced it was to give "additional" money to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deal with the pandemic.

READ MORE: Treasury admits 'additional' funds to fight Omicron come from existing pledges

Writing on Twitter tonight Sturgeon confirmed that the £220m earmarked for Scotland is not additional money.

"As feared, this is not ‘additional’ money - it is being brought forward from money we were expecting in January and had already budgeted for. But it’s actually more concerning than than that", she tweeted.

"The net effect of yesterday’s Treasury announcement appears to be that @scotgov is £48m worse off than we thought we were before the announcement. 

"The total we were expecting in January was £268m…we have just been told the actual amount is £220m."

She added: "There is though a more fundamental point. Each of the four UK governments is responsible for protecting public health in their own country. But only when UKG takes decisions for England is funding triggered, leaving the rest of us trying to protect health with one hand tied."

In a statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Treasury said £430 million of additional funding from the UK Reserve will be made available to the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to progress their vaccine rollout and wider Covid-19 response.

The National:

It added that while the devolved administrations are "well-funded to continue their response to Covid-19, and have their own reserves and contingency funds, any additional in-year Barnett funding will not be confirmed until early 2022 through the Supplementary Estimates process".

The Treasury announced that "additional funding will be made available to the devolved administrations to provide greater certainty and allow them to plan as they tackle Covid-19 during the crucial weeks ahead".

The amounts being provided to each government are: 
•       Scottish Government - £220 million 
•       Welsh Government - £135 million 
•       Northern Ireland Executive - £75 million 

It said the amounts will be kept under review in the coming weeks. 

The statement said these are additional amounts on top of the funding set out at the Autumn Budget 2021, relating to health pressures and the Covid-19 Additional Relief Funding.  

The UK Government said it has provided the devolved administrations with an extra £12.6 billion through the Barnett formula this year – this includes £1.3 billion confirmed at the recent Autumn Budget, which took their total funding this year to £77.6 billion.

Sunak said: "Throughout this pandemic, the United Kingdom has stood together as one family, and we will continue to do so.

“We are working with the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to drive the vaccine rollout to all corners of the United Kingdom and ensure people and businesses all across the country are supported.”

Responding to the First Minister's argument, a UK Government spokesperson said:

“We are giving the devolved administrations the certainty they need to spend more money in the coming weeks – exactly as they have asked for.

"The usual practice would be to wait for confirmed additional Barnett funding in the new year.

“This money is additional to the devolved administrations’ annual funding as confirmed at the Autumn Budget.

“We continue to engage with the Scottish Government in the face of this serious health crisis.”