Scottish Budget gains parliamentary approval

The Scottish Government’s budget plan which provides more than £5 billion of capital investment to “grow and modernise” infrastructure has been formally approved by the Scottish Parliament.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said the 2019-20 Scottish Budget provides £42.5bn of investment in Scotland’s public services and economy, while ensuring that 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK.

The budget includes more than £825 million of investment towards the delivery of affordable homes which forms part of the government’s £3bn target for 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the Parliament.

There were also real terms increases in funding for local government and an increase in the additional home supplement from 3% to 4%.

Mr Mackay said: “The passage of the budget provides £42.5bn of investment in our public services and economy delivering for the people of Scotland today, whilst building for our future. This is a budget that ensures stability, sustainability and economic stimulus.”

The 2019-20 Scottish Budget:

  • Provides more than £180m in raising attainment in schools, including £120m through the Pupil Equity Fund to close the attainment gap
  • Continues to deliver a progressive income tax system
  • Includes a public sector pay deal that continues the journey of restoring pay levels and provides an above inflation pay uplift of 3% for those earning up to £36,500
  • Provides the most generous package of business rates reliefs in the UK, and ensures more than 90% of properties in Scotland will be charged a lower tax rate than other parts of the UK
  • Allocates more than £600m for colleges and maintains investment at more than £1bn for universities
  • Increases direct investment in mental health by £27m, taking overall funding to £1.1bn, including improving mental health services for young people, and providing support in schools, colleges and universities
  • Increases investment in Health and Social Care Partnerships to more than £9bn for delivery of primary and community health services
  • Delivers new and improved social security benefits based on dignity and respect
  • Provides local government with a real terms increase in both revenue and capital funding, and a real terms increase in total overall support, through a £11.2bn settlement
  • Prioritises £500m to expand funded early learning and childcare, supporting the recruitment and training of staff and investment in building, refurbishment and extension of around 750 nurseries and family centres
  • Includes initial funding of £130m towards the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Protects the police resource budget in real terms
  • Provides more than £20m for zero waste, supporting the transition towards a more resource-efficient, circular economy, including design and implementation of a deposit return scheme
  • Allocates £80m for Active Travel to help build an Active Nation
  • Provides more than £70m in 2019-20 to drive forward sustainable and inclusive growth in the rural economy.