Hyslop Welcomes Budget for Scotland that supports local Families and Businesses
Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop has welcomed the Scottish budget which focusses on equality and economic growth, supporting families and local businesses.
The budget supports young families with an increase in childcare provision to 1,140 hours, and will see West Lothian Council receive a share of £120m for schools to use at their discretion to close the attainment gap.
“An increase in nursery hours of up to 1,140 per child and a share of £120m for local schools to close the attainment gap goes a long way to tackle inequality in West Lothian, investing in our future generations from birth and the earliest years, through school and beyond, it is clear that education is this Government’s number one priority.”
This budget also provides support for local jobs.
“Protecting our local businesses is so important for growth and a healthy economy. By extending the number of business premises that pay no business rates through the Small Business Bonus Scheme to 100,000 and cutting the Business Rate Poundage by 3.7% for all business properties, it will generate long term benefits to both our local and national economy.
“Thursday’s (15th Dec) budget shows a real commitment to our families, our businesses and our communities and offers the opportunity for us to invest in ourselves, to reach our potential and create a healthier and fairer society.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today unveiled a budget for growth and public services as he announced new investment in healthcare, education and local services, combined with support for jobs through lower business rates.
Introducing his first Draft Budget, Derek Mackay unveiled a programme that will improve public services, maintain and support jobs and ease the financial burden on families, including:
- An additional £304 million in resource funding for the NHS, £120 million above inflation and a significant step towards the commitment of an extra £500 million above inflation over this Parliament
- £120 million for schools to use at their discretion to close the attainment gap in 2017-18 – £20 million more than previously announced – funded from Scottish Government resources
- Support for jobs by extending the number of business premises that pay no business rates through the Small Business Bonus Scheme to 100,000 and cutting the Business Rate Poundage by 3.7% for all business properties
- Through the proposed local government finance settlement and local taxation over £240 million of additional spending power to support local government services, with all revenues raised locally being spent locally by councils
- protection in real terms for the revenue budget for policing, £60 million of investment the workforce and infrastructure necessary to begin the radical and ambitious expansion in the provision of free early learning and childcare entitlement to 1,140 hours by the end of this Parliament
The Finance Secretary also announced investment in new and existing infrastructure projects, to support sustainable economic growth including:
- completing the Queensferry Crossing
- Over £470 million of direct capital investment to begin delivery of 50,000 affordable homes,
- Over £140 million for Energy Efficiency programmes to help us deliver our climate change targets
- Over £100 million investment in digital and mobile infrastructure, to improve digital connectivity, grow Scotland’s digital economy and increase digital participation, including support for our commitment to deliver 100 per cent broadband access by 2021
For more information on the Draft Budget 2017-18 please see www.gov.scot/budget.