Budget boost for economy and public services
David McQuade - February 7, 2017

An additional £220 million investment next year in police, Scottish Enterprise and local services has been confirmed today as part of the Scottish budget process.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay confirmed that an additional £25 million will be made available to Police Scotland through the Police Reform and Change fund to support delivery of a police service capable of meeting the changing demands of crime and society over the next 10 years.

In addition, a further £35 million of funding will be made available to Scottish Enterprise to support Scotland’s economy.

Following discussions with other parties, the Finance Secretary also confirmed, as part of an agreement with the Scottish Green party to support the passage of the budget bill, Scotland’s local authorities would benefit from an additional £160 million investment – including £30 million capital – to support local services.

Amendments to the budget will be made later in the process and the additional funding for local government will be included in the local government finance order.

Confirming the changes during the Stage 1 of the budget debate, Mr Mackay said:

“At a time of significant challenge in our economy, this is a budget that will support jobs and lay the foundations for future growth.

The Budget provides a strong settlement for local government, including additional funding for Educational Attainment, increased capital resources and increased revenues from council tax.

It provides real terms protection for frontline policing, a real terms increase in total funding to the Health Service and increases to frontline NHS budgets for investment in primary care, community care, social care and mental health.

I have entered into discussions with all parties in good faith in order to build the consensus we need to deliver a budget for Scotland. I particularly welcome the constructive approach taken by the Scottish Greens.

My latest assessment of the financial position this year and our projections for 2017/18 has enabled me to identify available resources to support additional spending. This additional spending will be funded through the use of the budget exchange mechanism, updated profile of the Scottish Government contribution required to bring the non-domestic rates pool into balance and a reduction in the anticipated cost of borrowing repayments next year.

I therefore propose, with the support of the Scottish Green party for all stages of this budget to allocate additional resources, of £160 million, to Local Government to be spent at the discretion of individual authorities.
Once again this Government has listened and acted.”