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Scottish Draft Budget: The Main Points

Kate Forbes presented her draft budget to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 28th of January 2021 in what she stated is ‘a time of great fiscal uncertainty.’

It sets out 3 main aims to:

  • Create jobs and support and invest in a sustainable recovery
  • Respond to the health pandemic
  • Tackle inequalities

The Orkney News has already published what it proposes for the operation of ferries in, to and from the islands. Welcome Budget News For Ferries in Orkney

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has not yet produced his budget and this means that the draft Scottish Budget announced by Kate Forbes is based on ‘a partial, settlement.’

Health £16billion, increase of 5.3%

  • Funding to NHS Boards £11.6 billion
  • £550 million capital funding for NHS Scotland
  • £883 million to invest in social care and integration – includes funding to local authorities for the living wage
  • £1.1billion for mental health – £139 million in mental health services
  • £145.3 million for alcohol and drugs services – £50 million to reduce drug deaths
  • £869 million for tackling Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Taxation and Rates

Scottish Income rates and bands for 2021 to 2022

For more information on Scottish Income Tax:

  • 100% non-domestic rates relief extended for at least an additional three months for Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses
  • no changes to income tax rates
  • the starter band, basic band and higher rate threshold of income tax increased by inflation
  • freeze on the top rate of income tax at £150,000
  • first time buyer relief continued
  • increase the standard rate of Scottish landfill tax to £96.70 per tonne and the lower rate to £3.10 per tonne 
  • £90million to Local Authorities to freeze Council Tax

Jobs and Skills £1.1billion

  • £100 million Green Jobs Fund 
  • £7 million for digital business
  • £125 million for the Young Person’s Guarantee
  • 3% pay increase for public sector workers on those on up to £25,000
  • 1% pay increase for public sector workers on those over £25,000 – capped at £800 for those on £80,000+

Other features of the Draft Scottish Budget

  • £11.6billion to Local Authorities
  • £98.2million to improve digital connectivity
  • £711.6 million for affordable housing
  • £68 million for the first full year of the Scottish Child Payment
  • £55million for town centres & community regeneration
  • £567million Early Learning & Childcare
  • £1.6 billion for rail and bus services
  • £100.5 million for active travel

Police Scotland – £1.3 billion for the Scottish Police Authority

Commenting on the funding for Police Scotland, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said:

 “I welcome the announcement to eliminate the structural deficit in policing’s funding.

“The reform of policing in Scotland has brought many benefits to all communities across the country, while £200m has been returned to the public purse every year compared to legacy arrangements.

“The last 12 months have demonstrated the relentless nature of policing. Our mission to prevent harm, support communities and keep people safe has been evident throughout the pandemic.

“We will continue to enhance capacity and capability to protect the people of Scotland in the public, private and virtual spaces.

“Responsive and accessible local policing is deeply valued by our fellow citizens and will always lie at the heart of Police Scotland’s purpose and approach.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – £343.2million

Martin Blunden, Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said:

“We welcome today’s draft budget statement which sees an increase of £8.7m in resource funding and the maintenance of capital funding at £32.5m for the Service.

“We will now take forward our plans to ensure this additional funding helps support our strategic priorities so that we continue to improve and develop the services we provide to keep Scotland’s communities safe.”

Scottish Prison Service – £460.2million

You can find the Draft Scottish Budget by clicking on this link: Scottish Budget 2021-22

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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