The Scottish budget: what it means for disabled people

The Scottish Government has set out its budget plans for the year ahead.

The Draft Budget includes new investment in public services, as well as new measures to support business, jobs and economic growth.

Here’s why the Scottish budget means disabled people get the best deal anywhere in the UK.

  • We will continue to fund the Independent Living Fund, which delivers support payments to severely disabled people to enable them to live as independently as possible. And, we will increase funding for the scheme ahead of opening it up to new users.

  • We will provide funding of over £9 million to support employers to recruit young disabled people. We will also use funding of £1 million to ensure that our new devolved employment services are joined up with other key areas such as health services, to help disabled people and individuals at risk of long-term unemployment.

  • We will provide funding to increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships, with a clear commitment to increase the number of young disabled people undertaking Modern Apprenticeships.

  • The budget confirmed investment of an additional £150 million for mental health over five years, meaning funding for mental health services next year will exceed £1 billion for the first time.

  • We will take forward plans for a Scottish social security system based on dignity and respect – reforming assessments for disability, extending Winter Fuel Payments to families with severely disabled children, and increasing Carer’s Allowance.

  • We’ll continue to fully mitigate the effects of the Bedroom Tax. Around 80 per cent of households in Scotland who would otherwise be affected by the Bedroom Tax contain a disabled adult.

  • We will maintain funding for housing adaptations that help disabled tenants live safely and independently at home.

  • We will continue to fund concessionary travel, which protects household budgets and helps disabled people lead more connected lives. 

  • The Equality Budget will support work next year to produce Scotland’s first ever National Action Plan on British Sign Language.

  • The Ferries Accessibility Fund will support a wide range of improvements across the ferry network in Scotland, including accessible toilets, tactile signage, and the provision of more disabled parking spaces.

Watch: the seven things you need to know about the Scottish budget.