The Finance Secretary, has set out the Scottish Government’s budget plans for the year ahead.
In the face of the chaos and confusion of Brexit, this budget offers stability and protects Scotland’s public services.
It’s a budget that ensures Scotland is the best place to do business and invest, and that our economy can meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future.
- Businesses will continue to benefit from the Small Business Bonus, ensuring 100,000 businesses play no rates whatsoever. This is part of a relief package worth more than £750 million, the most generous anywhere in the UK.
- As part of this package, we will also provide a ten year rates relief for new fibre broadband installations.
- We will provide £1 million per year to support up to 150 people on very low or no income to retrain and gain employment in the digital economy.
- We will provide £130 million towards the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank, paving the way for the Bank to become operational in 2020 leading to a step change in innovative and inclusive growth.
- We will create a £50 million Town Centre Fund as part of a wider package of business support measures to drive local economic activity.
- We will invest over £6.3 million to continue the deliver of the National Manufacturing Institute to make Scotland a world leader in advanced manufacturing.
- We will also establish an Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund of up to £18 million to ensure all parts of Scotland benefit from developments in advanced manufacturing.
- We will invest £5 million as the first phase of our three-year £20 million plan to boost exports by directly supporting more companies to sell their products abroad.
- We will invest a record sum of over £825 million towards our pledge to build 50,000 affordable homes in this Parliamentary term.
- We will continue to develop and deliver our devolved employment support service Fair Start Scotland, giving individualised support to 38,000 individuals to those facing the greatest barriers to employment.
- This year we will continue to support agreed City Region Deals in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh, and will secure fully agreed City Region Deals for Stirling and Clackmannanshire and for the Tay Cities Region.
- Overall, £5 billion will be invested this year in infrastructure, including £1.7 billion in our transport infrastructure. This will include expanding electric trains and taking forward our commitment to dual the A9.
- We will continue to support the £150 million Building Scotland Fund to support new house building, develop new low carbon commercial property and support research and development.