Finance Secretary urges MSPs to back spending plans.
THE 2022-23 Scottish Budget should be supported by MSPs to help accelerate economic recovery, tackle the climate emergency and reduce entrenched inequalities, according to Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
It is the Scottish Government’s first Budget in partnership with the Scottish Green Party.
Speaking ahead of the Stage One Budget Bill debate in Parliament, Ms Forbes said:
“Our bold and ambitious spending plans are focused on supporting our key priorities, ensuring no one and no region is left behind. It targets resources towards low income households, invests in initiatives to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change and fundamentally, provides much needed investment to bolster our economic recovery.
“Recognising the severe impacts of the pandemic, £18 billion will support health boards and accelerate the recovery of vital health and social care services. Significant funding is also being provided to support the next steps in the single greatest public health reform since the establishment of the NHS – the creation of a new National Care Service.
“This Budget also funds our key priority of tackling child poverty and inequality, by targeting over £4 billion in social security payments, including £197 million to double the game-changing Scottish Child Payment from April 2022.
“Green recovery and economic transformation are central to our spending plans and an investment of at least £2 billion in infrastructure initiatives will support green jobs and accelerate efforts to become a net-zero economy, in addition to £150 million to create an active travel nation.
“Despite increased financial pressures, we are also continuing to treat councils fairly and we are providing a real terms increase of over 5% to local authority budgets for the coming year – despite cuts to Scotland’s overall budget by the UK Government.
“It cannot go unsaid that despite the ambition of this Budget, it comes amidst an extremely challenging fiscal backdrop and difficult decisions have had to be made. With uncertainty surrounding the cost of living, sky high energy prices, the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the fallout from Brexit, I urge MSPs across the chamber to support this Budget and help us secure the way forward to becoming a fairer, greener, more prosperous country.”