The Scottish Parliament voted to pass the Scottish Budget Bill last Wednesday.
This will benefit health boards including NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the economy, local government, public sector workers and the low paid.
The budget will now include £4.278 million more for North Ayrshire Council, with local services benefitting from an additional £159.5 million across Scotland.
In addition, while 70% of taxpayers will continue to pay less from April than at present, while 55% will pay less than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK. All those earning above the new Higher Rate Threshold of £43,430, a 1% increase on the 2017-18 threshold, will see a modest increase in income tax. This distinct income tax policy will support an additional £420 million of investment in the Scottish budget.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“This budget invests record amounts in our NHS, supports our efforts to improve attainment in our schools, invests in our economy with support for infrastructure, for broadband and for innovation and supports our ambitions to tackle climate change.
“We are lifting the pay cap for sector workers and our progressive budget takes steps to mitigate new UK Tory Government cuts of £211 million in 2018/19. It increases NHS funding by £400 million, with funding for children’s mental health services going up 30% from £53.2 to £70.2 million; invests £243 million in the expansion of early learning and childcare; confirms £600 million of investment to reach 100% of homes and businesses with superfast broadband by 2021; supports the building of 50,000 affordable new homes, backs small businesses and innovation and provides essential funding for our frontline police and fire services.
“Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP also confirmed he will extend the SNP Government’s commitments on public sector pay to ensure all public-sector employees earning up to £36,500 receive a minimum 3% pay increase.
“Investment in Low Carbon infrastructure will continue to increase in each year of the parliament, with extra support for home energy efficiency, the exploration of new local rail services and the delivery of marine protected areas.
“Labour and the Tories, as usual, voted against all of this – without producing any meaningful alternatives of their own.”
Stage three of the Budget, when it becomes law, is at the end of February.