Scotland's Economy

A budget for Scotland's future

September 11, 2013 by No Comments | Category Economy

Today I brought to Parliament a budget for Scotland’s future.

Global economic conditions continue to impact on economic confidence, I am therefore focused on boosting confidence in our economy to encourage private sector investment and growth.

This budget focuses on supporting an investment led recovery and economic growth, supporting Scotland’s people and communities against the impact of UK cuts and protecting our public services.

It demonstrates the benefits to Scotland’s economy from having decision making powers in Scotland and the challenges we face as a result of decisions being made in Westminster.

Today I made a number of spending announcements to support our immediate priorities of enhancing capital investment, creating jobs, and increasing confidence by encouraging private sector investment.

Over the next two years until 2015-16, we will invest a total of £8 billion in our infrastructure, including £1.35 billion on affordable homes.

We will maintain our investment in Scotland’s colleges, preparing our young people for the world of work.

I also announced £190 million for early years, giving our children the best start in life, and the Schools for the Future programme to deliver 67 schools built throughout Scotland, which will benefit construction firms all over Scotland.

This budget continues our drive towards a low carbon economy with £200 million for low carbon initiatives including £20 million for cycling infrastructures.

Our No Compulsory Redundancy policy for the public sector, combined with a modest 1 per cent pay rise, will help to boost economic confidence and support jobs and activity across the economy.

We are increasing  the momentum in the shift towards prevention, spending every penny wisely, to improve outcomes for our people and reducing pressure on our public services.

This is a challenging time for business, but in today’s budget I confirmed, once again, that this Government will do all it can to focus resources on driving Scotland’s economy forward.

The Draft Budget I have published today provides for additional measures to support economic recovery.

UK GDP continues to show limp signs of significant recovery, driven by a faltering construction sector – economic data which reinforces the direction the Scottish Government continues to make, that we require a different strategy from the UK Government and that capital investment is needed to help stimulate our economy.

A view supported by projects like construction starting on a £60 million office block development in Glasgow, and Scottish firms making up the majority of those awarded contracts for the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing.

Today the UN Rapporteur, who is investigating housing in the UK, has called for the Bedroom Tax to be abolished. I intend to take immediate steps to deal with its iniquitous effect.

The Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million this financial year to help those struggling most with the costs of the Bedroom Tax.

By setting out a two year budget, that could take Scotland to independence, my plans for the next two years shows the people of Scotland the priorities the Scottish Government will pursue with full economic levers of independence.

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