McLeod comments on Scottish draft budget

> SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod today (Wednesday) welcomed publication of the Scottish Government’s draft budget, in particular announcements to increase spending on Scotland’s NHS and an additional investment of £250 million for the integration of Health & Social Care.
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> Aileen said:
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> “The announcement of the Scottish Government’s draft budget today takes place against a backdrop of continued and unjustified cuts to Scotland’s budget. By 2020 Scotland’s devolved budget will have been cut by 12.5% and the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement saw a continuation of austerity policies which have already failed Scotland.
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> “Against that backdrop the Scottish Government is continuing to invest in public services, with increases in health spending and £250 million of new investment in the integration of adult health and social care – the most fundamental reform to how we care for people since the introduction of the National Health Service.
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> “The draft budget also protects spending on the police and announces an increase in funding for affordable housing of around £90 million. And of course last month we saw the green light for substantial Scottish Government investment in schools for Dalbeattie and Dumfries.
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> “Importantly, the draft budget also reinforces the SNP’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable from the UK Government’s austerity programme by continuing to support the Scottish Welfare Fund, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and ensuring no-one pays the Bedroom Tax.
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> “It also maintains long-standing commitments to free personal care, free prescriptions and the Living Wage as well as the massive increases in the provision of early learning and childcare.
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> “Despite unprecedented cuts to Scotland’s budget, today’s Budget sets out a progressive and ambitious plan to boost our economy, protect and reform our public services and choose a Scottish alternative to continued Tory austerity.”
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