Kate Forbes MSP’s Draft 2021-22 Scottish Budget
· This budget continues our urgent measures to control the virus and protect our economy and people in the immediate term, while also ensuring a strong recovery and a fairer, stronger and greener future.
· At its core this budget focuses on three key guiding principles, national mission for new, good, and green jobs; promotion of lifelong health and wellbeing and, driving equality and helping our young people to grasp their potential.
· Support the safe and sustainable recovery of the NHS, with record funding in excess of £16 billion – an increase of over £800 million in core Health and Sport funding to allow investment of £11.9 billion in Health Boards, £1.9 billion for primary care, and spend in excess of £1.1 billion for mental health services.
· Direct £145.3 million funding to alcohol and drugs support, with an increase of £50 million specifically targeted at reducing drugs deaths – part of a five-year, £250 million commitment.
· Invest £883 million in social care, including £34 million for delivery of the living wage.
· Provide £1.1 billion to drive forward our national mission for jobs, and equip our future workforce with the skills they need, including an additional £125 millionof investment targeted at employment support, including the National Transition Training Fund and Young Person’s Guarantee, alongside £230.9 million for Skills
· Invest £2.7 billion in education and skills – alongside significant funding delivered through the local government settlement – including £125 million to help close the attainment gap, and £1.9 billion for our world-class universities and colleges.
· Support all sectors of our economy to recover and grow sustainably with £17 million additional funding for our enterprise agencies, the launch of our £100 million Green Jobs Fund, and £51.9 million of dedicated help for our tourism sector including doubling the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
· Deliver just over £6 billion of capital investment in 2021-22 through our National Infrastructure Mission – including £667.6 million grant funding to continue our ambitious programme of affordable house building, £142 million to support housing support schemes including shared equity and almost £100 million for superfast digital connectivity.
· Invest £2 billion additional funding to decarbonise the way we live, travel, and heat our buildings, and to support woodland creation – supporting new, green Scottish industries, creating thousands of low carbon jobs, and helping to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.
· Secure £3.5 billion for social security and welfare payments, including £68 million for the ‘game changing’ Scottish Child Payment, which once fully rolled out will help lift an estimated 30,000 children out of poverty.
· Help to protect local services by guaranteeing £11.6 billion for local government, including £90 million to deliver a national council tax freeze and £567 million to deliver our commitment to 1,140 hours funded early learning and childcare by August 2021.
· Keep our communities safe with £1.3 billion for the Scottish Police Authority, including an uplift of £60 million in the resource budget – continuing to deliver real terms protection and surpassing our commitment to deliver a £100 million boost by 2021.
· Deliver a clean, efficient, and connected transport network, with investment of £3.2 billion, maintaining our record high commitment of £100.5 million for active travel, and £15 million to deliver a concessionary travel scheme for under-19s.
· For businesses, our targeted NDR measures include extending 100% rates relief for the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation sectors for at least three months in 2021-22, in addition to reducing the poundage mid-revaluation to 2019-20 levels – offering the lowest poundage available anywhere in the UK.