The Scottish budget: what it means for women

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

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

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


  • We have frozen the basic rate of Income Tax, ensuring that the burden of austerity is not passed on to lower and middle income taxpayers.

  • We are providing £60 million to kick start the expansion of free, high-quality childcare towards doubling fully-funded provision to 1,140 hours by 2020.

  • An additional £107 million funding will ensure the Scottish Living Wage for care workers, who are more likely to be women.

  • The Scottish Government will continue to pay all staff within its pay policy, including NHS staff, the Scottish Living Wage.

  • Over £470 million will be invested this year to begin delivery of 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 in the social rented sector.

  • From April 2017, the child allowance within the Council Tax Reduction Scheme will be increased by 25 per cent benefiting up to 77,000 households and helping nearly 140,000 children.

  • We will establish a Women’s Advisory Council to advise on action to tackle workplace and occupational segregation and other issues relating to gender equality.

  • We will invest £10.4 million to tackle violence against women and girls.


  • We will bring forward a Gender Balance on Public Boards Bill which will require positive action to be taken to redress gender imbalances on public sector boards. In 2015, for the very first time, more women than men were appointed to public boards by Scottish Ministers.

  • We will provide increased support for the Women in Enterprise Action Framework, which aims to increase the contribution of women’s enterprise to the Scottish economy.

  • We are protecting vulnerable mothers up to 24 years old through increased funding for the Family Nurse Partnership.