Budget Bill introduced to Parliament.
The Budget Bill 2017-18 has been introduced to Parliament by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay; taking forward proposals for new investment in healthcare, education and local services, and supporting jobs through lower business rates.
The introduction marks the first formal step in the process of Parliamentary scrutiny, following the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft budget in December.
The Finance Secretary described the budget as delivering “record investment in the NHS” and protecting “low income households from tax hikes”.
Mr Mackay said:
“We have published a budget for growth and public services, for our environment and our communities. It delivers increased investment in education, with £120 million for schools to use at their discretion to close the attainment gap in 2017-18 – £20 million more than previously announced.
“This budget will deliver record investment in the NHS through an additional £304 million in resource funding, £120 million above inflation as part of an overall commitment of an extra £500 million above inflation over this Parliament. And it protects low income households from tax hikes and supports more and better jobs.
“This government seeks consensus and I remain in active discussions with other political parties. I am considering the detail of the propositions that we have received to date and will continue to take forward constructive discussions on our budget plans to deliver growth for our economy and strong public services for everyone.”
The formal budget process is underway with the introduction of the Budget Bill, enabling the Parliament to scrutinise the government’s proposals to deliver increased investment in schools and our health service whilst protecting low income households.
More information on the Draft Budget 2017-18 is available at: www.gov.scot/budget.
The budget sets out proposals to improve public services, maintain and support jobs and ease the financial burden on families, including:
- An additional £304 million in resource funding for the NHS, £120 million above inflation and a significant step towards the commitment of an extra £500 million above inflation over this Parliament.
- £120 million for schools to use at their discretion to close the attainment gap in 2017-18 - £20 million more than previously announced – funded from Scottish Government resources.
- Support for jobs by extending the number of business premises that pay no business rates through the Small Business Bonus Scheme to 100,000 and cutting the Business Rate Poundage by 3.7% for all business properties.
- Through the proposed local government finance settlement and local taxation over £240 million of additional spending power to support local government services, with all revenues raised locally being spent locally by councils.
- protection in real terms for the revenue budget for policing, £60 million of investment the workforce and infrastructure necessary to begin the radical and ambitious expansion in the provision of free early learning and childcare entitlement to 1,140 hours by the end of this Parliament.