News

Mitigating against Brexit impact

Published: 16 Dec 2018 00:01

Budget provides economic stability.

The 2019-20 Scottish Budget provides Scotland with economic stability by making strategic long-term investments to strengthen and prepare the economy for the future

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said it is essential parliament backs the budget to provide as much certainty as possible for business and strengthen Scotland’s economic prosperity against the backdrop of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Confirming his determination to build consensus for the spending plans, Mr Mackay said the budget also includes spending commitments to help mitigate where possible the impacts of leaving the EU, funding which could be spent on essential public services if Brexit can be avoided.

Mr Mackay said:

“The Scottish Budget seeks to strengthen and prepare our economy for the future, whatever our relationship with the EU, and importantly, provides businesses in Scotland with much needed economic stability.

“In the coming weeks and months, I will work with all parties to build consensus for our spending plans in parliament and ensure we pass this budget which will help protect Scotland’s future prosperity.

“The Scottish Budget provides an increase of almost £730 million for our health and care services, invests more than £180 million to raise attainment in our schools, gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme and provides local government with a real terms increase in overall support through a £11.1 billion settlement.

“Our spending plans for 2019-20 include a commitment to mitigate the risks of Brexit as best we can, to enable our economy to thrive in any circumstances. If leaving the EU can be avoided, those resources currently being directed towards essential preparations can be reinvested into our public services and economy.”

The Scottish Budget will:

  • Invest £5 billion to grow and modernise Scotland’s infrastructure, including the creation of a £50 million Town Centre Fund to safeguard the future of our high streets
  • Invest £8.3 million to further progress the new National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland 
  • Provide initial funding of £130m to support the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Commit over £187 million of capital investment in City Region and Growth Deals to support economic growth across Scotland and continue to progress discussions for Growth Deals for the North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire, Borderlands, Moray, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk and the Islands
  • Target up to £18 million in European funding to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Fund ‎to ensure all parts of Scotland benefit from developments in advanced manufacturing.
  • Invest £20 million over the next three years to enhance and intensify support to businesses wishing to export
  • Maintain the most generous Small Business Bonus Scheme in the UK, continue to lift around 100,000 properties out of rates altogether and extend transitional relief for the hospitality sector and for offices in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
  • Enhance the digital skills that businesses require by introducing a new £1 million Digital Start Fund to support people with lower incomes
  • Invest around £2.4 billion in our enterprise and skills bodies to provide the vital support required to realise Scotland’s economic vision