The Scottish budget: what it means for young people

The Scottish Government has set it outs budget plans for the year ahead.

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

Here’s why the Scottish budget means young people 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.

  • The budget will continue to support people into homeownership through the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy and Open Market Shared Equity schemes.

  • Over £470 million will be invested this year to begin delivery of 50,000 affordable homes.

  • Scotland already outperforms the UK in the youth labour market, with higher youth employment and lower youth unemployment, but there’s more to do. We will continue to invest in the implementation of our Youth Employment Strategy, with greater focus on young people who continue to face barriers to work.

  • College funding will be increased, supporting our commitment to maintain the number of full-time equivalent college places.

  • We will continue to deliver free access to university for young people living in Scotland. In 2016 a record number of people in Scotland got a university place, with more young people from Scotland’s most deprived areas gaining entry than ever before.

  • Over £100 million will be invested in digital and mobile infrastructure to improve digital connectivity and support our commitment to 100 per cent broadband access by 2021.

  • We’re delivering record revenue spending in our NHS of 12.7 billion – an increase of £120 million above inflation. 

  • The budget confirmed the investment of an additional £150 million for mental health over five years, with a focus on preventative mental health care for children and young people.  

  • Skills, training and employment in Scotland will be supported by a £221 million investment. And, 2017-18 will see the next stage of our expansion to 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship new starts a year.

  • We will take forward plans to deliver free bus travel to young modern apprentices and three months free bus travel to recipients of the proposed new Job Grant. The Job Grant will support young people who have been out of work for six months or more.