The Scottish parliament is expected to give support to the Scottish budget today, allowing it to pass into law in the coming weeks.
Should the budget become law the Scottish Government intends to:
- Secure £4.5 billion of infrastructure investment in 2015-16
- Support £330 million of further capital investment in our Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme through NPD funding
- Provide £140 million to deliver 2 new college campuses through the NPD pipeline
- Continue to deliver the most competitive business tax environment in the UK
- Invest £16.6 million in 2015-16 to further take forward recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce
- Drive investment in affordable housing of over £390 million to deliver 6000 affordable homes and £125m of additional financial support for the housing sector.
- Invest over £300 million over two years in extending child care to 600 hours for all 3 and 4 year olds and vulnerable 2 year olds.
- Provide additional support for looked after children
- Provide £81 million to mitigate against Westminster’s welfare reform including the ‘Bedroom Tax’
- Maintain a council tax freeze across Scotland
- Continue the Scottish Government’s social wage commitments including free prescriptions, concessionary travel and free personal care
- Increase the health budget to over £12 billion with a funding increase of £288 million
- Invest over £170 million in 2015-16 to help drive integration of adult health and social care
- Support 1000 additional police officers
- Protect the Local Government budget
- Maintain a Scottish living wage for public sector workers covered by public sector pay policy
- Continue the commitment to no compulsory redundancies.
Deputy First Minister, John Swinney said:
This budget is focused on tackling inequality, investing in our economy and protecting and reforming our public services.
It is well understood that a strong economy is essential to building a fair and wealthy society. However, the reverse is also true. A society that is fair and equitable underpins a strong economy.
The challenge we face is not simply returning to pre-recession levels of growth, but tackling the underlying challenges in our economy and labour market, boosting competitiveness and reducing inequality.
The Scottish Government’s approach will continue to be based on the principle that delivering sustainable economic growth and addressing long-standing inequalities are reinforcing – and not competing – objectives. Promoting a fairer, more balanced model of growth and creating economic opportunity across society as a whole are key objectives of this government.
We want to create a stable economy that promotes growth across all regions of Scotland – one that is outward looking, confident and based on the core strengths of our people, is innovative and supported by investment.
This approach is at the core of the Scottish Budget and I look forward to setting out to parliament today further steps the Scottish Government will take to tackle inequality and boost the economy.