The Scottish Parliament has voted to support the SNP Government’s budget, which offers economic stability while giving a cash boost to the NHS, schools and other vital services
Despite successive UK Labour, Coalition and Tory Government austerity cuts which leave Scotland almost £2 billion (7%) worse off than a decade ago, the SNP Government Budget has prioritised the NHS, with £730 million for Scotland’s health and care services.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s direct allocation for 2019/20 will be £720 million, £25.1 million more than last year, a 3.6% increase.
Resources available to North Ayrshire Council have increased by £26.66 million, from £279.842 million to £306.502 million, a 9.5% uplift.
Across Scotland, the budget delivers more than £180 million to raise pupil attainment and almost £500 million for the expansion of early learning and childcare.
Some 90% of businesses will face a lower rates poundage than in England and 55% of taxpayers will pay less in Scotland than they would in England.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP said:
“The Scottish Budget provides an increase of almost £730 million for health and care services, and gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme.
“As a result of these decisions, we have invested in essential public services, particularly the NHS, while ensuring 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK.
“The SNP Government continues to ensure our local government partners receive a fair funding settlement, despite further cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK Government. These additional measures will deliver the most significant empowerment of local authorities since devolution and provide additional funding to support local services.
“This enhanced package offers up to £187 million of increased funding and flexibility to councils, on top of the £11.1 billion local government settlement announced in December. In total overall spending power for local authorities next year will be £620 million higher than it is currently.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“With the UK Tory Government in complete chaos, the SNP Government is offering people across North Ayrshire and Scotland certainty and stability, by protecting public services, supporting the economy and building a fairer Scotland.
“The SNP Government continues to use its powers in a progressive way in order to protect and invest in our public services, boosting funding for NHS Ayrshire and Arran and NAC. Our schools, hospitals and other vital services will have greater resources to deliver better services for our communities; the core priority of the SNP Government.
“I welcome the constructive way in which the Greens and the Finance Secretary worked to deliver this budget. I am disappointed that neither the Tories nor Labour submitted an alternative budget proposal. They are too comfortable shouting demands from the side-lines to come up with any alternatives, costed, realistic or otherwise.”