Reaffirming Scotland’s social contract

Budget focused on protecting people and public services.

The 2024-25 Scottish Budget will set out targeted funding for the Government’s key missions of equality, community and opportunity amid a profoundly challenging financial situation, Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary Shona Robison has said.

Next week Ms Robison, who is also Finance Secretary, will outline the Scottish Government’s financial priorities for 2024-25, including the difficult choices that have had to be made as a result of last month’s Autumn Statement. The Deputy First Minister has described that Statement as a “worst case scenario” for Scotland, telling Parliament that it failed to provide the investment needed in services and infrastructure, reflecting the UK’s economic circumstances after Brexit.

The Budget will provide the funding to protect people and public services from the worst effects of these economic circumstances, Ms Robison said.

The Finance Secretary added:

“In the face of a deeply challenging financial situation, this Budget will reaffirm our social contract with the people of Scotland.

“The Autumn Statement was devastating for Scottish finances. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has acknowledged that it will lead to planned real terms cuts in public service spending. Scotland is facing a 9.8% cut to our capital budget for infrastructure between this year and 2027-28.

“The £10.8 million additional health consequentials we received from the Autumn Statement for next year are enough to run NHS Scotland for just five hours, and UK Government funding for justice, housing and communities, net zero, energy, and environment are all being cut in real terms. All this comes on top of more than a decade of UK Government underinvestment that has left our public services with very little resilience.

“We refuse to follow UK Government spending decisions – indeed, we are doing all we can to mitigate them. We are proud that Scotland has a social contract which ensures people are protected by a safety net should they fall on hard times. And this contract underpins this Budget, with targeted funding to protect people and public services.

“We are unashamedly targeting resources at those most in need to support them through the cost of living crisis. We are providing funding to deliver the services that people rely on most, along with a ten-year programme of public service reform. And we are using all the powers we have to create a thriving economy while providing funding to achieve our ambitious net zero targets.”


The 2024-25 Scottish Budget will be presented to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 19 December.

Summary of UK Economic and Fiscal Outlook from Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

Back to top