Finance Secretary warns “recovery at stake”.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes is calling on MSPs from all parties to back economic certainty and stability by supporting the Scottish Budget this week.
Parliament is set to vote on the final stage of the Budget Bill on Tuesday, with record investment in health services, crucial support for business and around £1.1 billion for jobs and skills depending on the outcome.
Talks are continuing with opposition parties ahead of the vote and Ms Forbes stressed that the budget met many of the key issues they have raised.
“We are continuing to tackle a global pandemic and I have sought to engage constructively to deliver a budget that meets the needs of the nation.
“I would like to thank all parties for the positive way they are participating in this process and I am hopeful of reaching a successful conclusion. At this time of national emergency, with our recovery at stake, the Scottish people will expect nothing less of us.
“This is a budget that supports our economy and public services, continues the vaccination programme, enables the safe reopening of our schools and drives our recovery from the pandemic.
“It meets the main ask of business by extending 100% rates relief for the retail, hospitality, leisure, aviation and newspaper sectors for a further 12 months – considerably exceeding the relief offered in England. It supports families by providing money for a council tax freeze and delivers a fair pay rise for our public sector workers to whom we owe so much during the pandemic.
“This budget provides record funding for our NHS and local government, £832 million for affordable housing and new funding to tackle climate change.
“Our businesses, people and economy are expecting us to provide certainty and stability. I urge MSPs to vote for it on Tuesday.”
The Budget (Scotland) (No.5) Bill can be read on the Scottish Parliament website.