Scottish Budget

From the SNP Website “All you need to know” summary of today’s draft budget.

Seems not unfair to me. I guess the well off will be rather less than pleased.

Today Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced the Scottish Government’s budget plans for the year ahead.
The Draft Budget includes new investment in public services, as well as new measures to support business, jobs and economic growth.

Here’s what you need to know.
Investing in our public services

  • 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.