Tackling the climate emergency and protecting public services.

Investing in vital public services and ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead.

Setting out the Scottish Budget 2020-21, Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced a package of funding to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy, including £1.8 billion of investment in low carbon infrastructure which will help reduce emissions.

She also announced a record investment of £15 billion in health and care services and £645 million for the expansion of early learning and childcare.

The Scottish Budget 2020-21 also proposes:

  • £117 million investment in mental health for all ages and stages of life
  • £180 million to raise attainment in schools
  • an above real-terms increase of £37 million to the police budget and an additional £6.5 million to support community justice to reduce re-offending
  • £220 million of seed funding for the Scottish National Investment Bank to support its mission to drive the transition to a net-zero economy
  • increased investment of £270 million in rail services and an additional £16 million in concessionary travel and bus services, taking total investment in rail and bus services to around £1.55 billion
  • increased investment of £5.5 million in active travel
  • £20 million for peatland restoration with a commitment to invest more than £250 million over 10 years
  • Investment of more than £64 million to support the commitment to plant 12,000 hectares of forestry, with the aim to reach 15,000 hectares by the mid-2020s
  • a new £120 million Heat Transition Deal and a total investment of £151 million in energy efficiency
  • £40 million for an Agricultural Transformation Programme
  • a 3% pay uplift for public sector workers earning up to £80,000

Ms Forbes said:

“The global climate emergency is at the centre of our Programme for Government and we have already put in place the most ambitious climate legislation and targets of any country. This Budget will help deliver on that world-leading ambition.

“From increased investment in low carbon transport to funding for peatland restoration and forestry, this Budget sets out our spending plans to help us deliver the transformation we need across society to transition to net-zero.

“We have also put wellbeing firmly at the heart of this Budget to benefit as many people as possible across the country. We will do this through prioritising inclusive economic growth with the creation of high quality jobs, supporting our public services and tackling inequalities head on.

“We estimate that we are investing at least £1.4 billion to support low-income households, mitigating the worst effects of the UK Government’s benefit cuts which are hitting the poorest in society and our Scottish Child Payment will help lift 30,000 children out of poverty when it is fully rolled out in 2022.

“I urge the Parliament to work constructively with us to pass this Budget in the national interest.”


Full details of the Scottish Budget 2020-21

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