A social contract with Scotland

Final stage of 2023-24 Budget Bill.

A Scottish Budget which goes further to support the vulnerable and deliver greater benefits than provided in the rest of the UK will be voted on in Parliament.

Ahead of Tuesday’s final debate and vote on the 2023-24 Scottish Budget Bill, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has set out the “social contract with every citizen of Scotland” – supporting people through the cost of living crisis with the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment, the expansion of free school meals and free bus travel to more than two million people.

Against a background of high inflation and the cost of living crisis, record funding of more than £19 billion is committed to the Health and Social Care portfolio – an increase of over £1 billion. Other measures include more than £350 million for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme which sees 370,000 households paying no council tax, and for business the lowest non-domestic rate poundage in the UK will mean more than 95% of properties are liable for a lower property tax rate than elsewhere.

Investing in Scotland’s future with more than £4.6 billion for the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Portfolio, the Budget also includes £467 million to protect the natural environment.

Mr Swinney said:

“This Budget strengthens our social contract with every citizen of Scotland who will continue to enjoy many benefits not available throughout the UK.

“In one of the most challenging budgets since devolution, we are prioritising our limited resources to protect public services, invest in the transition to Net Zero and take decisive steps to eradicate child poverty in Scotland.

“Supporting people most in need in these difficult times is the foundation of this Budget. As a Government we are doing all we can to support people and families.

“We have chosen a distinctive, more progressive path where people are asked to pay their fair share to create the fairer society in which we all want to live. Progressive choices on Scottish Income Tax mean that next year this Government will deliver record funding of more than £19 billion for health and social care.

“While none of us should underestimate the scale of the ongoing financial challenges, I am confident that this Budget package offers stability and certainty for Scotland.”


Read the Scottish Budget 2023-24 .


Media enquiries

Back to top