Local MSP Maree Todd SNP has welcomed the proposals put forward in the Draft Scottish Budget for lifting the 1% public sector pay cap and for up to a 3% pay rise for NHS staff, police, teachers and others earning up to £30,000.
It will also see an increase in funding to Scotland’s NHS by over £400 million.
Maree Todd said:
“This is a really progressive budget that will deliver a fairer society for the whole of Scotland, including our Island communities.
“This budget brings an additional £400 million for our NHS, delivers a pay rise for public sector workers, £756 million for affordable homes, additional funding for our much valued arts and culture sector, a rural tourism infrastructure fund to help address infrastructure needs in rural areas, including committing an incredible £600 million to connect 100% of households to superfast broadband – as well as significant investments in research, education and childcare.”
The Draft Budget proposes the introduction of a more progressive income tax policy that will protect low and middle income taxpayers, resulting in the majority of taxpayers paying less income tax than they do now with those on the highest incomes paying proportionately more. Most workers in Orkney would pay less tax as their wage comes in at £19,500. It also means people in Scotland will pay different rates of income tax to the rest of the UK.
Maree Todd said:
“The Scottish Government is delivering lower income tax for the vast majority of Scots; people earning up to £33,000 will pay no more and many low and middle earners will pay less tax in Scotland than in any other part of the UK.”
Most notably there was no mention in the Draft Budget proposals of fair ferry funding for Orkney’s internal ferry fleet. Derek Mackay has reiterated that his door is open to representations from MSPs if they want that to be included.
All of the opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have said they will vote against the Draft Scottish Budget if it is not amended to contain their particular demands. The SNP runs a minority Government and relies on support from other parties to get the Budget passed. If it is not passed none of the proposals in the Draft Budget would be implemented.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame