SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has praised the “vision and leadership” of the Scottish budget announced today – which contains record investment for health and social care.

The budget also contains a package of measures to support the Scottish Government’s world-leading ambitions to tackle climate change, support families and tackle poverty.

For the first time, the budget provides funding of over £15 billion for health and care services, including the capital for elective care centres and investment in mental health.

Scotland continues to have the fairest and most progressive income tax system in the UK, with more than half of taxpayers paying less income tax in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

The budget also includes:

  • the introduction later this year of the Scottish Child Payment, which when fully rolled out will help 30,000 children out of poverty,
  • increased investment of £270 million in rail services and an additional £16 million in concessionary travel and bus services taking total investment in rail and bus services to around £1.55 billion,
  • a three per cent pay uplift for public sector workers earning up to £80,000,
  • an additional £37 million for the Scottish Police Authority resource budget,
  • an increase in the proportion of investment directed towards low carbon infrastructure each year, with £1.8 billion of capital investment over the coming year in specific projects to reduce emissions, investment equal to around 1% of GDP.

Commenting, Christina McKelvie said:

“This is a progressive and ambitious budget that demonstrates the vision and leadership of the SNP in government – supporting our public services, helping family incomes and tackling climate change.

“This budget is set against the backdrop of heightened uncertainty and risk, created by the UK Government following their decision to delay the UK Budget until March – as well as the complete uncertainty over our future relationship with Europe.

“Despite this, we’re seeing record investment in our NHS and more money for police, rail services and low carbon infrastructure.

“Most taxpayers will continue to pay less than they would elsewhere in the UK, and no taxpayer will pay more on their current income.

“This means that Scots will continue to get a better deal under the SNP.

“People across South Lanarkshire will welcome this package of investment and our focus on fairness – and I look forward to it passing through the parliamentary process.”