By Derek Mackay

Finance Secretary

Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering my second Budget as Finance Secretary. It is a budget that protects the NHS and public services, supports low earners and unlocks Scotland’s economic potential.

It positions Scotland to grasp the opportunities presented by a rapidly changing global economy, whilst taking measures to protect households from the worst effects of UK budget cuts and continued Brexit uncertainty.

Some of our key public services are delivered by local government and that’s why I have protected overall funding for local government. Glasgow City Council will receive a settlement of over £1.3 billion to deliver for the people of Glasgow and now has the power to raise more money through council tax if it feels the city needs extra investment.

Households across Glasgow and the West will continue to benefit from additional investment in our NHS. We have increased spending on our health service by over £400 million, with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde receiving over £2.1 billion in the next financial year alone.

We will progress our £200 million elective care investment programme, including the expansion of the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank and continue the construction of the Gorbals and Woodside health centres. We will also progress both Clydebank and Greenock Health & Care Centres as well as the Stobhill Mental Health Beds facility.

We will continue to support the construction of Blairdardie Primary School, Carntyne Primary School and the Sighthill Campus and to support the Glasgow City Region Deal. The redevelopment of Queen Street rail station will continue to progress as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, which, by the end of 2018, will introduce significant improvement to routes and journey times between Scotland’s two major cities.

This budget will lift the one per cent public sector pay cap and provide for a three per cent pay rise for NHS staff, police, teachers and other public service workers earning up to £30,000.

Our commitment to ensure all children and young people, whatever their background or circumstances, get equal opportunity to reach their full potential is backed by financial investment.

This budget provides £120 million – over and above core education funding – direct to head teachers to help ensure all young people can fulfil their potential, provide £243 million towards the expansion of free nursery education and childcare, and invest nearly £2.4 billion in our colleges, universities and enterprise and skills bodies.

We have placed economic expansion at the centre of our spending plans by setting out a growth package of key measures deliver the growth, innovation and new employment opportunities that Scotland’s economy needs to grow.

Renfrewshire and the west will be home to a new £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) working with businesses and universities across Scotland to transform skills, productivity and innovation to attract new investment and make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

We will support business by continuing to fund the most competitive relief package available anywhere in the UK, worth around £720 million next year – a record amount – maintain the expanded Small Business Bonus Scheme and create a new £4 million fund to back our entrepreneurs to get started and to grow.

The budget decisions we have taken reflects the seriousness of the challenges we are facing as a country. With continued Brexit uncertainty and further UK cuts, the Scottish Government has acted to support economic growth and to make sure people have public services they can rely on.

We are only able to protect public services, support our economy and tackle inequality, due to the progressive changes we have made to income tax.

Our new, fairer, tax policy will protect the 70% of taxpayers who earn less than £33,000 a year, ensuring they pay less tax next year, whilst asking those earning more than £33,000 to pay a proportionate amount more to support our public services.

This Budget delivers for the people of Glasgow and the West.