Scottish Parliament

Scottish Budget to support the vulnerable through greater benefits

The Scottish Government has announced that it is to vote tomorrow on a new Budget that will go even further to support the vulnerable.

The 2023-24 Scottish Budget Bill is set to deliver greater benefits than the rest of the United Kingdom, with the Deputy First Minister labelling it as a “social contract with every citizen of Scotland” and using the “ground-breaking” Scottish Child Payment, free school meals and free bus travel to help the most vulnerable through the cost of living crisis.

The Health and Social Care Portfolio is to see a commitment of £19 billion, which means an increase of over £1 billion. The Council Tax Reduction Scheme will also have an investment of more than £350 million to ensure that 370,000 households are able to be relieved of their council tax pressures. More than £4.6 billion is also being committed to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Portfolio, with £467 million going towards the protection of the natural environment.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, said:

“This Budget strengthens our social contract with every citizen of Scotland who will continue to enjoy many benefits not available throughout the UK.

“In one of the most challenging budgets since devolution, we are prioritising our limited resources to protect public services, invest in the transition to Net Zero and take decisive steps to eradicate child poverty in Scotland.

“Supporting people most in need in these difficult times is the foundation off this Budget. As a Government we are doing all we can to support people and families.

“We have chosen a distinctive, more progressive path where people are asked to pay their fair share to create the fairer society in which we all want to live. Progressive choices on Scottish Income Tax mean that next year this Government will deliver record funding of more than £19 billion for health and social care,

“While none of us should underestimate the scale off the ongoing financial challenges, I am confident that this Budget package offers stability and certainty for Scotland.”

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