Setting out plans to invest an additional £400 million in Scotland’s health service, protect public services, lift the public sector pay cap and provide a package of investment in growing the economy and supporting small businesses, Mr Mackay said the budget would “invest in our public services and support business to thrive”.
The Draft Budget proposes the introduction of a more progressive income tax policy that will protect low and middle income taxpayers, resulting in the majority of taxpayers paying less income tax than they do now with those on the highest incomes paying proportionately more.
Publishing the Draft Budget to parliament, Mr Mackay set out a programme that will:
- Increase spending on the health service by over £400 million – £200 million more than inflation.
- Provide £120 million – over and above core education funding – direct to head teachers to help ensure all young people can fulfil their potential
- Lift the one per cent public sector pay cap and provide for up to a three per cent pay rise for NHS staff, police, teachers and others earning up £30,000
- Invest £243 million towards the expansion of free nursery education and childcare
- Protect funding for Police and Fire services including retaining VAT refunds in full
- Deliver a local government finance settlement worth more than £10.5 billion
- Contribute £756 million towards investment of more than £3 billion by 2021 to deliver 50,000 affordable homes
- Allocate over £4 billion of funding for infrastructure
- Deliver £600 million to ensure every home and business will have access to superfast broadband by 2021
- Deliver the first £70 million of a new £150 million Building Scotland Fund
- Set aside £340 million for initial capitalisation of the Scottish National Investment Bank
- Invest nearly £2.4 billion in our colleges, universities, enterprise and skills bodies – including a real terms increase for both college and Higher Education budgets
Mr Mackay said:
This is a budget for a stronger economy and a fairer society, with increased funding for the NHS and protection for low and middle income earners.
We are investing in our public services and supporting business to develop and thrive. This budget mitigates against the UK Government’s cuts to our block grant.
It delivers an additional £400 million to the health service, it invests in expanding childcare, delivering broadband, building 50,000 new homes and supporting our police and fire services.
It provides the investment we need to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of tomorrow.
For more information on the Draft Budget 2018-19 visit the Scottish Government website.