We will invest a record £304 million extra in our NHS.
It is unacceptable that too many children from less advantaged areas achieve less at school because of their background. Over the next year £120 million will be invested in our schools to help close the attainment gap. That’s £20 million more than previously announced
Local services will benefit from up to £241 million of additional investment including.
– Funding from the NHS for health and social care to pay the living wage to care workers.
– £111 million raised through Council Tax re-banding will be retained locally.
– Local authorities will also be able to increase the Council Tax generally by up to 3 per cent next year, which would generate an extra £70 million.
The police budget will be protected in real terms.
Protecting household budgets
The basic rate of Income Tax will be frozen – helping low and middle income earners. And, by asking higher rate taxpayers to forgo a Tory tax cut, extra revenue will be available to invest in Scotland’s public services.
By 2020, we’ll increase the provision of free, high quality childcare to 30 hours a week. The Draft Budget allocates over £60 million in new investment in the workforce and infrastructure necessary for this expansion.
A £3 million investment to bring down costs for rail users.
We will provide £47 million to mitigate the Tory Bedroom Tax, and abolish it at the earliest opportunity.
Supporting jobs and investing in growth
We will support jobs by cutting Business Rates. And, the extension of the Small Business Bonus Scheme will lift 100,000 small and medium sized business properties out of Business Rates altogether.
To support more businesses – particularly start-up companies – with the potential to grow and export more, the new Scottish Growth Scheme will provide up to £500 million over three years of investment guarantees and some loans.
We will deliver a £4 billion investment in our infrastructure, supporting 30,000 jobs. Our investment will begin the delivery of 50,000 new affordable homes, energy efficiency measures and improved digital connectivity. The next year will also see the completion of major projects like the Queensferry Crossing, the AWPR and the M8/M74/M73 improvements.
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.
It’s not entirely without irony that Tories have been demanding more from the budget whilst doubtless rejoicing in and most assuredly agreeing with, the cut to the Scottish budget, presumably so that the money can be spent on their railway from London to Birmingham, Heathrow extensPalacehe Plalace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace been made fit for a king, bribing Nissan to stay in Sunderland, etc. I dare say too that, given the coverage in all the tabloids today, we will shortly have to pay for another royal wedding. Oh, how lucky we Scots are.
The Sun, in its usual helpful fashion, has kindly provided a handy “cut out and keep” guide to a what a terrorist looks like, lest perchance you should see one in the High Street when you’re out and about Christmas shopping. (Munguin is fond of Nuit St Georges 2012, by the way!)
Not surprisingly, given its source, it was a rather over-simplified guide.
Like so much of the Sun’s coverage, it left out great chunks of relevant material. Y’know, the kind of material that doesn’t match the Sun’s right wing, xenophobic, nationalist agenda. Fortunately, a Twitter friend of mine, Aamer Anwar, put up the above picture and captioned it: “So whilst the Sun does a ‘helpful’ cut out & keep terrorist guide they miss out Jo Cox’s Nazi killer”.
Odd that, we thought!
So in an effort to better educate the public, we decided to help spread it around a bit more. After all, you never know who you’re going to bang into in the darker reaches of Auchtermuchty High Street when you’re searching for that special bottle of ‘Nuit’!
Although the Sun’s circulation figures are on a downward trajectory, they do still have more readers than Munguin’s Republic. So, as we like to do what we can in our own way, can we ask you to help by spreading it around on your social media (with credit to Mr Anwar).
Ruth Davidson tweeted the other day about the education situation in Scotland. She wondered what the SNP would do to distract people’s attention from the subject.
Of course, as far as I can see, they have done no such thing, but I ventured to suggest a variety of embarrassments for the English Tories, including Boris being hauled over the coals by Tessy; Tessy herself on bended knee to the Saudis; the strikes on Southern trains causing unrest among crowds of commuters in London, and a raft of statistics about the appalling health service run by the still unsacked heath minister Jeremy Hunt, who is just itching to get these foreign doctors sent home.
I’m sure Ruth is a regular reader of Munguin’s New Republic. So instead of tweeting her yet again about it, and because I’m sure she never reads the Guardian, I’ll just leave this here for her so she can contemplate how awful the Scottish government is, although we are happy to help her government out. Certainly for the benefit of the poor kids who have been so badly let down by Hunt.
Not quite sure i like the tone of “exiles” though, Guardian. It’s hardly Siberia.
I noticed on my Twitter feed, that there is a wee lad called Bradley Lowery. He’s not very old but he has cancer and has only a few months to live. His greatest ambition now is to get thousands of Christmas cards. If you’ve got a spare one, and a stamp you don’t need, here’s his address: