Scottish budget: what it means for older people

The Scottish Government has set out its budget plans for the year ahead. You can read a summary here.

From record health spending to free bus journeys, here’s why the Scottish budget means older people get the best deal anywhere in the UK.


  • We will increase health spending by more than £400 million, investing record revenue spending of £13.1 billion in our NHS.

  • Free personal care has been protected. The Draft Budget transfers £355 million to the integrated health and social care bodies to ensure improved social care, plus an additional £66 million to support additional investment in recognition of a range of pressures local authorities are facing.

  • Not only will we protect free personal care, we will prepare for expansion to include those under 65 who require it – also known as ‘Frank’s Law’.

  • We will help those in fuel poverty – including almost half of older households – to keep bills down and homes warm by investing £100 million to support energy efficiency programmes.

  • Funding for housing adaptations will be maintained to help older and disabled tenants live safely and independently at home.

  • We will establish a social security system based on dignity and respect. We will also continue to invest over £100 million in mitigating Tory welfare cuts including the Bedroom Tax.


  • We will continue to provide the Concessionary Travel Scheme, enabling Scotland’s older people and disabled people to travel for free on local or Scottish long distance buses.

  • Carer’s Allowance will increase from next summer, with payments backdated to April 2018.

  • We have invested over £1 billion in the Council Tax Reduction Scheme since 2013-14, assisting almost half-a-million households each year to meet their Council Tax.

  • We will invest £500,000 per year in order to deliver the aims of the Scottish Government’s proposed social isolation and loneliness strategy.