While Westminster crumbles further into utter chaos, and the UK government ceases to function, the Scottish Government offers stability with a budget that protects public services, supports the economy and helps build a fairer country.
With this budget, we’re taking Scotland down the path of progress. Here’s how:
🤝 We’re building a fairer Scotland.
The life chances of Scotland’s young people must not be determined by where they’re born, or what their background is. That’s why we’re investing £180m, including £120m to headteachers, to close the attainment gap in schools and ensure no one is left behind.
This budget also delivers the fairest income tax system in the UK that asks the richest 1% to pay a little more than last year, with everyone else paying the same or less. It also means that 55% of income taxpayers will pay less than those in the rest of the UK.
Since we introduced our fairer tax system this year, our economy has grown faster than the UK – demonstrating that those who predicted our tax policy would hit the economy are simply wrong.
🌍 We’re building a greener Scotland.
Scotland is a world leader on climate change, and in this budget, we’re continuing to take bold steps to protect our planet.
We’re investing over £20m in Zero Waste, to help transition towards a more resource-efficient economy, and to implement a deposit return scheme which will help tackle plastic waste.
Additionally, we’re putting £50m into low carbon transport measures, including the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and £80m for Active Travel.
💛 We’re building a caring Scotland.
The budget continues delivering a welfare system that puts dignity, fairness and respect at its very core.
While the UK Government pursue their damaging austerity programme that hurts those most in need, we’re working hard to protect Scotland from the worst of the cuts. This includes mitigating the callous Tory Bedroom Tax.
The £435m of direct assistance through our social security interventions includes £283m for Carers Allowance, £33m for the Scottish Welfare Fund, and £12.4m for Best Start Grant.
We’re also taking serious action to tackle homelessness, which along our 5-year action plan, includes £50m for the Ending Homelessness Together Fund.
🏥 We’re building a healthier Scotland.
With additional £729m extra for health and care services, this budget gives our NHS a significant and vital funding boost.
We’re also actively supporting mental health services for young people with additional £27m, and strengthening healthcare provision in communities up and down Scotland.
Tory austerity and the threat of Brexit are putting real pressures on the NHS, but despite that, we will invest over £9bn for Health and Social Care Partnerships for primary and community health services.
👷♀️ We’re building a better Scotland.
This budget sees over £5bn of capital investment for affordable housing, hospitals, roads and infrastructure, including a new £50m Town Centre Fund to breathe life into high streets and make town centres fit for the future.
We’re also providing record investment of over £825m, as part of our total investment of over £3bn to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this Parliament.
✂️ Meanwhile, in Westminster…
Despite the Tories recently suggesting that ‘austerity is over’, our resource block grant has been cut by £2bn in real terms since 2010.
We’re mitigating this austerity, which allows us to offer stability in the face of the chaos and confusion of Tory Brexit.
We’re proud to protect and invest in Scotland’s public services, while building a strong economy fit for the challenges of tomorrow.
The Programme for Government will ensure Scotland is a nation inventing, designing and manufacturing the innovations that will shape the future.