This year’s budget at the Scottish Parliament was announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney today. In his statement it was stated that the NHS budget will be protected alongside the local government budget against the cuts being made by the Tories and Lib-Dems at Westminster.
Speaking on the budget Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:
‘Once again it is up to the SNP Government to protect Scotland against Westminster cuts.
‘While the NHS is being privatised in England, which then means Scotland gets less money for our NHS, the SNP are maintaining investment for the NHS.
‘The Tories have cut the local government budget by almost 19% since 2013, again this has been passed on to the Scottish Government. This Government will protect local government funding right through to 2016. Very different priorities.
‘Cuts imposed by Westminster, protection offered by the SNP Government.
‘Anyone can see we have different priorities on important public services.
‘Along with £23 million being used to alleviate the Bedroom Tax attack by the Tories this government is offering protection to the people of Scotland.
‘We must have a debate. Is this the type of Scottish Parliament that we want? To react to attacks from Westminster?
‘Decisions about the people of Scotland should be made by the people of Scotland. That can only be delivered through independence.’
Other aspects of the budget.
To support the economy the budget will:
- Fully fund 125 additional hours of early learning and childcare to a total of over £190 million
- Drive investment in affordable housing of over £1.35 billion over 4 years
- Provide £24m for a National Performance Centre for Sport
- Secure £8bn of infrastructure investment over the next two years
To help our people and communities to thrive the budget will:
- Invest £522m in colleges next year rising to £526m in 2015-16
- Provide at least £68m in each of the next two years to mitigate the impact of UK welfare cuts and a further £20m this financial year to limit the impact of the bedroom tax
- £33m per year for the Scottish Welfare Fund
- Maintain a council tax freeze across Scotland
- Maintain the council tax reduction scheme
- Continue the social wage commitments including free prescriptions, concessionary travel and free personal care
To support Public Services the budget will:
- Protect the NHS budget
- Protect the Local Government budget
- Maintain a Scottish living wage for public sector workers
- Reject UK plans to reform pay progression
- Continued support for the three Change Funds, driving a shift to more preventative approaches
- Provide £120m funding in 2015-16 to assist health and social care integration