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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

SNP Government publishes Ambitious Spending Review

An ambitious but realistic public spending framework has been published which outlines how more than £180 billion - around £33,000 for every person in Scotland - will be invested to deliver Scotland’s priorities.

The Resource Spending Review, which is not a budget, outlines how the SNP Government will focus public finances in the coming years to tackle child poverty, address the climate crisis, strengthen the public sector - all while Scotland recovers from COVID - and grow a stronger, fairer and greener economy.

A targeted Capital Spending Review has also been published, to address a reduction in capital investment by the UK Tory Government.

As well as supporting the NHS and affordable housing, the capital spending review will invest around £18 billion up to 31 March 2026, with over half a billion of additional funding directed to net zero programmes compared to previous plans.

Kenneth Gibson MSP, Convener of the Finance and Public Administration Committee, said:

"The UK currently has the highest inflation rate of any G7 country – almost twice the rate of France. Brexit has made this problem worse, with increases in food prices, hitting the poorest households hardest.

“We are experiencing an unprecedented cost of living crisis and inflation is at a 40-year high of 9%.

"While the Resource Spending Review is not a budget, the SNP Government is sharing high-level financial parameters with public bodies, local government and the third sector, to be transparent and help everyone plan ahead.

"The Finance Secretary has set out an ambitious but realistic public spending framework for the years ahead. It does not ignore the realities of our financial position, but neither does it roll back on our ambitions for change."

Further changes to Scotland’s fiscal position and to tax and social security forecasts are expected to change the funding picture ahead of annual budgets.

The spending review prioritises spending in key policy areas. These are:

Tackling child poverty and supporting households and businesses with the cost of living

  • £22.9 billion for social security assistance

  • increasing the Scottish Child Payment from £10 to £25 and expanding eligibility by the end of this year

  • providing universal free school meals to primary school children in P1-5 and expanding provision beyond that

  • uprating devolved benefits

Securing stronger public services

  • £73.1 billion for health and social care including a National Care Service

  • increasing investment in frontline health services by 20% over this Parliament

  • spending more on primary and community care

  • £42.5 billion for local government for the delivery of services

  • £11.6 billion for the justice system

Achieving net zero and tackling the climate crisis

  • up to £75 million per year to deliver the Heat in Building Strategy, enabling £1.8 billion investment towards decarbonisation

  • up to £95 million towards meeting woodland creation targets

  • £46 million to introduce the community bus fund and an increase in funding for concessionary travel schemes

Building a stronger, fairer and greener economy

  • capital investment of £581 million to support the economy

  • continuing through the Inward Investment Plan to attract high quality inward investment in areas such as energy transition and the space sector

  • progressing the export growth plan A Trading Nation to scale up Scotland’s international reach

  • embedding entrepreneurship in education, to give young people opportunities to start and grow businesses.



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