The Scottish budget: what it means for young people

The Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, has set out the Scottish Government’s budget plans for the year ahead.

It’s a budget that invests in jobs and skills, tackles the cost of living and works to ensure everyone can afford a home of their own.Here’s how the Scottish budget means young people in Scotland get the best deal anywhere in the UK.

Investment in jobs and skills

  • 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.
  • We will publish a Future Skills Action Plan in early 2019 to ensure we have the right skills in place to support individuals, employers and our economy.
  • We will invest over £214 million in apprenticeships and skills, an increase of £22 million, as we work towards offering 30,000 opportunities per year by 2020.
  • 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.

An affordable home for all

  • We will invest a record sum of over £825 million towards our pledge to build 50,000 affordable homes in this Parliamentary term.
  • We have also ensured that Land and Buildings Transaction Tax continues to protect those purchasing their first home and support peoples as they progress through the property market, with over 80 per cent of taxpayers paying either no tax or less tax than in England.

Improving access to college and university

  • Access to university will continue to be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay – there will be no tuition fees with the SNP.
  • We will invest over £600 million in Scotland’s colleges and maintain investment at over £1 billion in Scotland’s universities.
  • We will ensure every eligible care-experienced student receives a full £8,100 non-repayable bursary to finance their studies.

Investing in our health service

  • We will increase health spending by almost £730 million, increasing the annual health resource budget to £13.9 billion.
  • The budget increases investment in mental health by £27 million, taking overall funding to £1.1 billion, including improving mental health services for young people, and more support in schools.

Tackling the cost of living

  • We continue to have the fairest income tax anywhere in the UK with 55 per cent of taxpayers paying less in Scotland than they would elsewhere in the UK.
  • We will support public sector workers by delivering a pay policy that provides a pay uplift of 3 per cent for those earning up to £36,500.
  • We will invest nearly £100 million to continue our mitigation of the Bedroom Tax and UK Government welfare cuts.