#ScotBudget Explained

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.

For education:

  • 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.

For businesses:

  • 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