A budget for business

Spending on the economy to increase by 64%.

Public spending on economic growth is set to rise to more than double the level by the UK Government, according to Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.  

Reflecting the Scottish Government’s determination to seize opportunity and grow Scotland’s economy, the growth package will see spending on the economy increase by 64% - an increase of £270 million  - in 2018-19.

Even before the Draft Budget was presented, the Scottish Government was investing more in economic development than the rest of the UK. Spending on economic development last year was equivalent to £193 per head in Scotland, compared to £88 per head in the UK as a whole.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

“We are absolutely committed to supporting business and growing Scotland’s economy - particularly in the wake of Brexit uncertainty and UK Government austerity – and our investment per head on economic development dwarfs that of the UK Government.

“We have more than doubled our spending on economic growth, with spending per head now more than £100 higher in comparison to the UK Government, and will deliver a growth package to stimulate our economy and provide stability in the wake of Brexit uncertainty and UK Government austerity.

“We are delivering a record £2.4 billion investment in enterprise and skills, a £4 billion commitment to infrastructure and £600 million to broadband, ensuring every home or business premise in Scotland has access to superfast broadband.”

“This is a good budget for business, for investment and for taxpayers and will ready Scotland for the future – but it is absolutely vital that the UK Government commits to remaining in the EU single market and the customs union to protect jobs and investment in Scotland."


Information on spending on Enterprise and economic development in 2016-17 in Scotland and the UK is available in Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2016-17, Tables 3.6 and 3.7 of the Draft Budget document.  Accompanying population statistics are provided in table A1.

The growth package includes:

  • £96 million of extra support to deliver the most attractive business rates package in UK with the increase to the rates poundage capped at CPI inflation
  • A 64% increase of £270 million in the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work budget as part of a total investment of £2.4 billion in enterprise and skills
  • A 70% increase in investment in business Research & Development
  • £18 million as part of a £65 million package of investment for the National Manufacturing Institute to make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing
  • Establishing a new £150 million Building Scotland Fund to unlock new house building, develop new low carbon commercial property and support research and development
  • Setting aside resources of £340 million to provide initial capitalisation for the Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Driving regional economic growth by more than doubling our investment in city region deals
  • 70% of taxpayers paying less in income tax next year, assuming their income doesn’t change, protecting consumer spending, while still raising additional revenues. This includes:
  • The Draft Budget also proposes an ambitious programme of infrastructure investment for 2018-19 of more than £4 billion, in line with the Programme for Government commitment to invest £20 billion over the life of this parliament.
  • Contributing £756 million towards investment of more than £3 billion by 2021 to deliver 50,000 affordable homes generating up to 14,000 FTE jobs
  • Beginning the procurement of Scotland’s £600 million universal superfast broadband programme to be delivered over the next four years
  • Investing £60 million in Low Carbon Innovation Fund to deliver innovative low carbon energy infrastructure solutions including for electric vehicles
  • Investing £1.2 billion in our transport infrastructure, including key road projects and further electrification of the rail network


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