£2bn additional spend in Scottish public services

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has announced that health services, the economy and public services will benefit from more than £2 billion of additional spend.

The Finance Secretary also confirmed the Scottish Budget will provide an additional £90 million to support local government and as well as further flexibility and increased income from council tax. Taken together this enhanced package offers up to £187 million of increased funding and flexibility to councils.

The Scottish Budget includes commitments to allow local authorities the flexibility to increase the council tax by three per cent in real terms, which equates to 4.79 per cent next year, while keeping increases below the maximum permitted in England. It also sets out plans to bring forward a three-year funding settlement for local government from 2020-21 budget onwards and continue to provide an earmarked £160 million for health and social care investment in local authorities to support social care and mental health measures.

Mackay said: “The Scottish Budget proposes an additional £2 billion of investment. It provides an increase of almost £730 million for health and care services, more than £180 million to raise attainment in our schools and gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme. As a result of these decisions, we have been able to invest in essential public services, particularly the NHS, while ensuring 55 per cent of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK.

“The Scottish government has continued to ensure our partners in local government receive a fair funding settlement despite further cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK government. These additional measures will deliver the most significant empowerment of local authorities since devolution and provide additional funding to support local services.

“This enhanced package offers up to £187 million of increased funding and flexibility to councils, on top of the £11.1 billion local government settlement. In total overall spending power for local authorities next year will be £620 million higher than it is currently.”

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