In the face of Tory cuts, the Scottish Government’s budget rejects austerity, protects public services and safeguards household incomes.
Here’s just some of what the budget for the year ahead delivers:
For our health service:
- An extra £500 million for the frontline NHS budget, taking it to almost £13 billion and representing a real terms increase.
- £50 million more for mental health over the next five years – increasing the mental health fund to £150 million.
- Increased funding for Educational Maintenance Allowances and expanded eligibility to allow more young people from the poorest backgrounds to stay in education.
- Double funding to close the attainment gap over the next three years, to a total of £160 million.
- Free tuition, ensuring education is based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay, and saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England.
- Support 100,000 small businesses by the reduction or zero rating of their business rates through the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
For a fairer Scotland:
- Mitigate the worst of Westminster’s welfare cuts through the Scottish Welfare Fund providing Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.
- Ensure that no one in Scotland has to pay the Bedroom Tax.
For a safer Scotland:
- Protect the police budget.
For people in a time of austerity:
- Keep our promise to freeze the Council Tax for a ninth consecutive year.
- Funding for free prescriptions and eye checks.
- Funding for concessionary travel for older, disabled and young people.
- Freeze Income Tax.
For warm, sustainable homes:
- Provide funding to increase house building, the first step on our journey to our target of 50,000 affordable homes.
- Make energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority, reflecting the vital contribution that action in this area can make in tackling climate change and fuel poverty
For a better connected Scotland:
- Provide almost £1 billion investment in roads and transport projects
- invest a further £115 million in Scotland’s digital infrastructure to help towards our 2017 target to ensure 95 per cent of premises in Scotland have access to next generation broadband