Joan McAlpine MSP has welcomed an extra £10m for the NHS in Dumfries and Galloway, as part of the Scottish Government’s budget passed at Holyrood this week.


She condemned the Labour and Conservative parties for voting against the budget, which finances the recruitment of more GPs, extends mental health care for young people and introduces free personal care for chronically sick and disabled people under 65, including those with dementia.


The SNP budget, supported by the Green Party, also continues the massive expansion of early years and childcare with a £500m investment plus £180m to improve attainment in schools.


It is being delivered despite a massive £2 billion reduction in Scotland’s resource grant from Westminster since 2010.


Ms McAlpine said: “This budget offers stability when all we see is chaos at Westminster. People voted to prioritise the NHS and that’s exactly what we have done.


She continued: “Under the deal reached, Dumfries and Galloway Council will receive an additional £9.6 million in spending power compared to last year’s budget, as part of a total overall settlement of £11.1bn for local government.”

“This is a fair tax budget – unlike the proposals from the Tories who wanted to hand wealthy people, including MSPs, a £500m tax cut. As an MSP I am happy to pay a bit more to fund public services. Only the top 1% of earners in Scotland will pay more tax. This budget means that 55% of income taxpayers will pay less than those in the rest of the UK.

“By voting against this budget the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats voted against increased for health including another 800 GPs. They voted against personal care for the elderly and increases in benefits such as Carers Allowance. They should be ashamed. “