Scottish Budget 2021: what it means for older people

The Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, has set out the Scottish Government’s budget plans for the year ahead.

It’s a budget that secures a major cash boost for the NHS, more investment in local public services and further financial support for families. In unprecedented circumstances, and with one hand tied behind our back, the SNP is using its powers progressively to provide older people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Investing in Scotland’s NHS

  • We will increase health spending by over £800 million, increasing the annual health resource budget to over £16 billion, far exceeds our manifesto commitment on health, mental health and social care.
  • We will invest £1.9 in Primary Care services including an increase of £55 million in our primary care fund, which includes support for the delivery of the new GP contract and for wider Primary Care reform.
  • We are taking forward substantial capital investment in the NHS estate, backed by £550 million capital funding for territorial and national boards, delivering the construction of new Elective Care Centres.
  • We will invest £2.3 million into improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment for patients with a range of conditions.
  • We will invest £1.1 billion in Scotland’s mental health services including making £15 million available to support the continued establishment of local mental health services.
  • We will continue funding to support the next phase of our “Right Care, Right Place” program which helps alleviate pressure from the NHS by signposting people to where they can get the best care for their health issues. the next phase of implementation, which will include enhancing interfaces with GP in hours, mental health hubs, community pharmacists and the Scottish Ambulance Service.


Investing in our Social Care services

  • We will invest £883 million in social care, including £34 million to support the delivery of the living wage.
  • In 2021‐22, integration authorities will manage nearly £10 billion of funding previously managed separately by health boards and local authorities. This ensures that resources are spent effectively, improving the health and wellbeing of their local communities.
  • We will invest £28.5 million to support the implementation of carers rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act which will include funding to enable health and social care partnerships to expand their support for carers.
  • We will invest £1 million to support care homes tackle digital exclusion, drive greater collaboration through increased digital infrastructure and to support more self-management at home.


Tackling the cost of living

  • To help keep incomes secure in these challenging times we will invest £90 million to deliver a council tax freeze.
  • We will invest £118 million to continue our mitigation of the Bedroom Tax and UK Government welfare cuts.
  • We will continue to roll out our transformational £1.6 billion investment in energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation over the next Parliament.
  • We will also invest significantly to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty.