A Budget for Scotland’s future
Thursday, 15 December 2016 16:37
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today unveiled a budget for growth and public services as he announced new investment in healthcare, education and local services, combined with support for jobs through lower business rates.
Introducing his first Draft Budget, Derek Mackay unveiled a programme that will improve public services, maintain and support jobs and ease the financial burden on families, including:
- An additional £304 million in resource funding for the NHS, £120 million above inflation and a significant step towards the commitment of an extra £500 million above inflation over this Parliament
- £120 million for schools to use at their discretion to close the attainment gap in 2017-18 - £20 million more than previously announced – funded from Scottish Government resources
- Support for jobs by extending the number of business premises that pay no business rates through the Small Business Bonus Scheme to 100,000 and cutting the Business Rate Poundage by 3.7% for all business properties
- Through the proposed local government finance settlement and local taxation over £240 million of additional spending power to support local government services, with all revenues raised locally being spent locally by councils
- protection in real terms for the revenue budget for policing, £60 million of investment the workforce and infrastructure necessary to begin the radical and ambitious expansion in the provision of free early learning and childcare entitlement to 1,140 hours by the end of this Parliament
The Finance Secretary also announced investment in new and existing infrastructure projects, to support sustainable economic growth including:
- Completing the Queensferry Crossing
- Over £470 million of direct capital investment to begin delivery of 50,000 affordable homes,
- Over £140 million for Energy Efficiency programmes to help us deliver our climate change targets
- Over £100 million investment in digital and mobile infrastructure, to improve digital connectivity, grow Scotland’s digital economy and increase digitalparticipation, including support for our commitment to deliver 100 per cent broadband access by 2021
Mr Mackay said:
“Today I have published a Budget for growth and public services; for our environment and our communities. It delivers increased investment in education, record investment in the NHS, protects low income households from tax hikes and supports more and better jobs.
“this Budget provides support for the economy, for jobs and for household incomes, through a fair and balanced set of tax and spending proposals.
“Closing the attainment gap, reducing child poverty and ensuring equality of access to higher education, will generate long term benefits for our economy and public finances.
“That is why we are prioritising education and providing the resources to match. From birth and the earliest years, through school and beyond, education is this Government’s number one priority.
“This budget also delivers the Government’s commitment to secure the future of Scotland’s health service. I next year we will invest an additional £300 million in NHS resource budgets - £120 million more than inflation - a massive step toward our promise to Scotland’s health service.
“This budget also provides a strong settlement for local government.
“The plans I have set out exercise our new powers responsibly, marking a significant step in the history of the Scottish Parliament. It is a Budget that holds fast to our programme, that delivers on our commitments and protects Scotland’s hard-won social contract.