Here’s how the Scottish budget will support young people

The SNP budget for the year head has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. You can read a summary here.

As we head towards a damaging Brexit, the cost of living is rising. And we know that for far too many young people buying or renting a home of their own is still out of reach.


That’s why this budget makes the investments needed to create jobs, tackle the cost of living and ensure everyone can afford a home of their own.


Here’s what you need to know.


New investment in jobs and skills


  • We will invest in the jobs of the future through a 70 per cent increase in support for business research and development and a new £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund. And we have set aside £340 million towards the creation of a National Investment Bank.


  • We will support businesses to create jobs and develop skills by investing £2.4 billion in our enterprise and skills agencies.


  • We will increase the availability of Modern Apprenticeships, as we work towards offering 30,000 opportunities per year by 2020. And we will pilot an extension of the concessionary bus pass scheme to Modern Apprentices too.


An affordable home for all


  • We are committed to delivering 50,000 affordable homes by the end of this Parliament – two-thirds of which will be for social rent. This year the Scottish Government will invest £756 million towards meeting this goal.


  • We will reform the tax paid when buying a new home – Land and Buildings Transaction Tax – so that 80 per cent of first time buyers don’t pay it at all.


  • New private rented sector tenancies have been introduced, giving tenants more security and stability. The new tenancies will have no end date and can only be terminated by a tenant giving written notice to their landlord or by the landlord using one of 18 grounds for eviction.


Improving access to college and university


  • Access to university will continue to be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay – there will be no tuition fees with the SNP.


  • We will continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent college places and will increase the budget for colleges in real-terms.


  • The number of people from deprived backgrounds going to university is at a record high and we are committed to achieving equal access to higher education by 2030. That’s why we are ensuring that every care-experienced young person who meets the entry requirements is offered a place at a Scottish university.


Tackling the cost of living


  • Faced with more cuts to Scotland’s budget from Westminster, we have chosen to make Income Tax more progressive to invest more in our vital public services. The reforms will ensure that seven in ten income tax payers will pay less than they do now – and 93 per cent of Income Tax payers under 25 will pay less tax in 2018-19 than they do now.


  • We will lift the cap on public sector wage increases this year. Public servants earning less than £30,000 will receive a 3 per cent increase, those earning above £30,000 will receive a 2 per cent increase and we will cap increases for those earning more than £80,000.


  • The Scottish Government is spending £100 million every year to mitigate the worst impacts of Tory welfare cuts, including fully mitigating the Bedroom Tax. We will also continue to help people aged 18-21 with housing costs through the Scottish Welfare Fund, following the Tory decision to end housing support for young people.


Investing £400 million more in our health service


  • Health spending will increase by £400 million this year, taking it to a record high of £13.1 billion.


  • We will increase mental health spending by £17 million this year. We will also continue to improve transitions for young people moving from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services, including potential flexibility for those aged 18-25 to continue their care and treatment with CAMHS.

  • We are rolling out the Family Nurse Partnership to cover vulnerable first-time mothers up to the age of 24, giving them the support they need to give their children the very best start in life.