Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has unveiled the Scottish Government’s 2018-19 draft Budget.
Here are the key points from his statement to the Scottish Parliament:
:: Income tax in Scotland will be reformed into a five-band system. A new starter rate of 19% will be introduced for those earning between £11,850 and £13,850; the basic rate of 20% will apply for those earning over £13,850; a second new intermediate rate of 21% will be brought in for those earning over £24,000; the higher rate will be increased to 41% for incomes between £44,273 and £150,000 and the top rate will also rise to 46% on incomes over £150,000. D ue to the new starter rate and the increase in the personal allowance all taxpayers earning up to £33,000 will pay no more.
:: The 1% public sector pay cap will be lifted with a guaranteed minimum pay increase of 3% for all public sector workers earning £30,000 or less, 2% for those earning above £30,000 and a cap of £1,600 for those earning £80,000 or more.
:: The local government resource budget will be protected in cash terms and the capital budget will be increased in real terms “resulting in a total increase in local authority core funding of £94 million”
:: Health service spending will be increased by £400 million, double the amount needed to keep pace with inflation.
:: A new relief on Land and Building Transaction Tax – the Scottish equivalent of stamp duty – will be introduced for first time buyers on properties up to the value of £175,000.
:: Funding to tackle the attainment gap in Scottish schools will increase to £179 million, with £120 million to be allocated to headteachers through the Pupil Equity Fund and a further £59 million set aside for targeted support.
:: A programme to make superfast broadband available to every home and business across Scotland by 2021 will benefit from investment of £600 million.
:: A growth package will include a 64% increase in the economy, jobs and fair work budget, a 70% rise in spending on business research and development and £96 million of extra support through the business rates system.
:: A total of £243 million will be allocated to expand the provision of free nursery education and childcare.
:: More than £20 million of extra cash has been set aside for the police and an additional £5.5 million for the fire service.
:: Funding of £756 million will be allocated to help meet the Scottish Government target to build 50,000 affordable homes over the parliament.
:: Infrastructure will be supported with investment of more than £4 billion, including £1.2 billion for transport.