MSPs urged to back spending plans.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has urged MSPs to support the Scottish Budget – and the essential investment in vital public services it provides – when it comes before the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Government’s 2019-20 spending plans, Mr Mackay said the Budget proposes a significant additional cash injection for health and education, protecting frontline services and providing the stability and stimulus Scotland’s economy needs amid the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Mr Mackay said:
“Our spending plans for the coming year contain additional money for schools and hospitals, protecting vital public services and investing in our economy, while also providing stability amid the ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit.
“With that backdrop in mind, there has never been more need for MSPs, of all parties, to act responsibly and not add to that uncertainty. So I urge all MSPs to unite behind the 2019-20 Scottish Budget – that is what people the length and breadth of Scotland expect.
“Our spending proposals provide an increase of almost £730 million for our health and care services, invests more than £180 million to raise attainment in our schools and gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme.
“We are investing in essential public services, particularly the NHS, while ensuring that 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK. Taken together with the personal allowance, 99% of taxpayers will pay less income tax next year on the same income.
“Since introducing the Budget Bill, I have sought to engage with all parties in order to secure support for our spending plans. We are open to compromise in order to ensure we deliver the Budget that the country expects, and I am confident others will approach things in the same spirit.”