Ms. Forbes said in Parliament this afternoon: “Today’s budget comes almost a year after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Scotland The pandemic has shaken our society and economy to the core.” >

“Every life has been impacted and every single life lost has been a tragedy Livelihoods increased Frontline services have responded in remarkable ways

“And of course our collective struggle to overcome the virus continues. The extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response

“This budget ensures continuity in our urgent work to fight the virus and protect our economy and our NHS, while delivering the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible

“It’s not just the pandemic that has hit the Scottish economy. The wrecking ball of a dire Brexit deal is making matters worse

“So today’s budget will help provide much-needed support and stability to ensure our economy recovers, and we are protecting those hardest hit

“Our approach continues to be for short-term support and takes a course for the coming year to build a fairer, stronger and greener country

“Basically, it focuses on three main priorities: creating jobs and supporting sustainable recovery; responding to the health pandemic and tackling inequalities”

“In the absence of a UK budget, there is a lot of information missing that we must plan for with certainty

“We need to stick to a budget based on a partial agreement I’ve waited until the UK budget to see how we are given full hands

“I have repeatedly welcomed the UK Government’s additional – largely borrowed – Covid funding I’m doing again

“But I also have a duty as Treasury Secretary to stand up on the case if I believe more is needed. There is £ 21 billion in the UK Covid Reserve. Our share of that funding would help keep it going Meet the needs of our businesses, our NHS, and other public services

“In the interests of certainty and based on the balance of the consequences received so far, I have made a prudent funding assumption and set aside £ 500million for what is expected to flow from this Covid reserve next year

“This will help make the budget process more transparent and help parliamentary scrutiny of our spending decisions, which I wrote to the Chancellor this week, which set out the Scottish Government’s priorities for the UK budget and provide clarity and flexibility Scotland

is targeted on several key issues

“Chairman Given the particular interaction between this and next year’s budgets, I will touch on the 2020-21 position as we near the end of the fiscal year. Last month I set out how the Covid funds were fully allocated

“Based on my assessment of the most recent position and the confirmation of additional follow-up financing of 400 million GBP I already have further 2020-21 financings of 300 million GBP for business support including payments from the Strategic Framework Business Fund to the end of this financial year confirms a one-time increase in grant support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses, comparable support for island businesses and an increase in funding for the taxi and wedding sectors, 85 Million GBP for the restoration of education and 30 million GBP for hardship students,

“On Monday, councils disbursed millions in framework funding and top-ups to the sector, significantly more than figures released earlier this month. Payments have been made to tens of thousands of companies since Boxing Day, building on the 383000 business awards, valued at over £ 2 billion since the pandemic began, 3 billion

“In addition, we close the gaps in support through industry-specific funding Now there are taxi drivers, brewers, travel agents, indoor soccer clubs, events and a variety of companies in the wedding sector, from florists to funding, funding available to photographers

“I know companies will continue to need support while they shut down, and they want security for the future. I can confirm today that the Strategic Framework Business Fund will continue to support companies beyond the end of this fiscal year – should the funding go done by the UK Government

“I can confirm two other measures: a doubling of the Discretionary Fund for Local Authorities to £ 60 million to be distributed at will, and a commitment to pay February grants at level 4, regardless of what level a company is located

“The local government chairman led the way in grants distribution, community support and pandemic response. Last year, the Scottish government and COSLA agreed on the details of a system that was valued at $ 90 million at the time GBP was estimated to compensate the councils for the loss of income from sales, fees and charges due to the pandemic

“Today I am increasing this allocation to £ 200m in addition to the previously announced £ 49m £ 249 million in total support for the councils’ losses this year GBP

“I’m writing to the Finance and Constitutional Committee today with full allocation details for 2020-21 confirming that every single penny has been allocated

“Chairman, we have always been rightly proud of the first class care from our NHS But during the pandemic, our inspiring NHS staff have worked tirelessly in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

“As the story of this pandemic is being written, our NHS and social workers will be recognized as the undisputed heroes they are, I am sure I will speak for everyone in this chamber – everyone in the country, indeed – as I speak of them Heart thanks

“To support their efforts in 2021-22, we will be investing over £ 16 billion in the health and sports portfolio – adding over £ 800 million to the core budget and an additional £ 869 million to support our response to Covid -19 support – including Vaccinations and Test and Protect

“This includes £ 1 billion in basic services investments and it will bring our total investment in welfare and inclusion to over £ 883 million in 2021-22

“I want to draw attention to two important elements of the health budget. The first is that we are putting £ 145 million in funding in 2021-22 for alcohol and drugs – an increase of £ 50 million from this year, especially for our national mission to reduce drug deaths under a five year £ 250 million commitment

“Second, we know that the pandemic has severely affected mental health and therefore investment in mental health will exceed £ 1 billion over the next year, which will become our ongoing approach to improving mental health care and support for children, adolescents and adults, including child and adolescent psychiatric care, underpin

“The social damage caused by COVID19 has exacerbated poverty and inequality and made it clear the importance of making progress towards our legal goals to reduce and ultimately eliminate child poverty by 2030

“We are delivering a direct program of action to meet these goals in 2018-2022, backed by the £ 50 million Child Poverty Fighting Fund, which this budget confirms we will fully implement”

“The ambition of our new charities to tackle child poverty involves significant investments in our ‘groundbreaking’ Scottish Child Benefit, estimated to be £ 68 million in 2021-22, with payments starting next month – part of nearly almost the total £ 36 billion for Social Security

“Our public sector wage policies will continue their progressive and restorative approach and focus on combating low wages

“The UK government’s ill-considered wage freeze is having a major impact on our block grant, where we need to balance the reward and the affordability of public sector wages

“Our NHS is negotiating the future of the Agenda for Change and I will be working with the Cabinet Secretary for Health to take care of our NHS workforce”

“The most sustainable way to tackle inequality and break the intergenerational poverty cycle is through education

“In 2021-22 we will allocate £ 2.7 billion of total education and skills budget to achieve this goal, along with the substantial education funding provided by the local government settlement

“This includes nearly £ 19 billion for the Scottish Funding Council to fund our university and higher education sectors, including £ 700 million for colleges and over £ 1 billion for universities

“It is important that we continue to invest heavily in our world-class facilities and provide the best opportunities for students

“On the judiciary side, the budget provides significant additional funding to address the criminal justice case backlog caused by the pandemic

“We are going to provide a total finance bill of £ 1.3 billion to the Scottish Police Department, including a £ 60 million increase in the resource budget – more than our commitment to a £ 100 million boost by 2021 and the police budget deficit to eliminate

“Keeping public transport open remains vital to our recovery as over £ 1 billion of investments have been made in 2021-22 through bus

“This will provide a viable alternative to private transportation for more people, further reducing our reliance on cars, which provide a cleaner form of mass transit, and promoting the far-reaching benefits of our 20-minute neighborhood ambitions

“We will also be launching a national franchise travel system for free bus travel for children under 19 in the coming year, and we will continue to support the transformation of our roadside landscapes with a five year commitment to keep the active travel budget at a record high of £ 1005 million each Year

“I said earlier that the local government was at the forefront of our response to Covid I am the local government colleague, many of whom have worked day and night on grant funding, welfare and upholding the legal Manage services by blocking, extremely grateful

“We will provide the local government with a total funding package of £ 11.6 billion for 2021-22, including £ 245 million increase in core revenue funding and additional one-time Covid funding of 259 million GBP This is an additional total of more than half a billion pounds

“Within this comparison, the comparison includes additional funds of: 59 million GBP to expand the Early Learning and Childcare Program to 1140 hours to complete; £ 726 million for investments in health and welfare; and £ 77 million to support Inter-Island Ferries in Shetland, Orkney and Argyll and Bute, which are in full revenue, and to extend the schedule and RET for the Orkney Inter-Island Ferries

“This brings revenue for core revenue services to £ 335million and on top of the one-time COVID funding of £ 259million, this means an overall increase for local government of £ 594million in 2021-22 I also have another increase of 110 million GBP confirmed versus previously announced loss of income scheme

“Chairman The profound impact of the pandemic on our economy requires ongoing support, it also requires us to plan and conduct a strong, fair and environmentally friendly recovery over the long term

“The future of our public services depends on the resilience and strength of our economy So if this budget has to achieve anything, it has to lay the groundwork for economic recovery

“Today I have put in place a plan to achieve this – a plan that will provide continued support to businesses, fight unemployment, strengthen business and invest in long-term growth

“Leadership is important, and our corporate agencies must have the resources they need to lead the recovery

“The collective resource budget for the three corporate agencies in the Highlands, South Scotland and all of mainland Scotland will increase by more than 12%

“The budget builds on the extensive package of labor market interventions with a total investment of £ 1 billion in employability and skills support

“This includes an additional initial investment of 125 million GBP for the Youth Guarantee, the National Transitional Training Fund and broader support for skills and employability

“The Youth Guarantee will help to achieve our goal that every young person has the opportunity within two years to

“Today’s budget is £ 2309 million for Skills Development Scotland to work with partners on this important agenda

“It also sees the start of the first phase of our five-year Green Jobs Fund of 100 million GBP and the commitment to set up a Green Jobs Workforce Academy before

“And across Scotland we will be investing over £ 230 million to ensure that our diverse and evolving cultural heritage is valued, promoted and celebrated and to protect thousands of cultural and heritage jobs”

“Chairman, we need to invest in growth. The infrastructure investment plan that we will publish next week will include a number of projects that will promote Scotland’s resilience and promote inclusive, net-zero and sustainable growth

“The plan will be key to the success of the National Mission for Employment and will provide a robust pipeline of work that will help fuel green recovery – providing good, green jobs, stimulating supply chains and building market confidence.” >

“The capital spending review will set budgets for five years and confirm that we will fully deliver on our national infrastructure mission to increase annual infrastructure investments by £ 1.5 billion by 2025-26, which is 45000 full-time positions supported in the same period

“These efforts are reinforced by the work of the Scottish National Investment Bank, which we donate to $ 2 billion GBP and over 200 million GBP will be capitalizing on investments in 2021-22

“This will continue our work with regional partners to drive any outstanding deals forward With the goal of closing full deals for all urban and rural areas by the end of 2022, COVID has further underscored the value of a safe safe and affordable homes and our homes will now be somewhere many of us work from

“We provide more than 800 million GBP ready for on-budget housing Building on our accomplishment, nearly 97 since 2007Having delivered 000 affordable homes, I am contributing more than 711 million to the Affordable Housing Program GBP available “

“Capital investments will instill confidence, but will also help meet our legal obligation to be a net zero society by 2045

“Our carbon taxonomy shows nearly 37% – or more than £ 19 billion – of our capital investment is low-carbon

“When we look to Glasgow, where the COP26 summit is taking place in November, we want to encourage global action and show that Scotland is a world leader in green and renewable technologies

“The government program and our most recent update to the climate change plan combined included a low carbon fund of 2 billion GBP for the next Parliament – investing nearly GBP 1.6 billion in thermal and energy efficiency in our homes and buildings is central

“Through the fund, we will also have a five-year investment program worth 50 million GBP start to regenerate Scotland’s empty and derelict land

“This will help harness abandoned land in our communities and help develop 20-minute neighborhoods

“This includes creating community gardens to promote well-being, local food supplies, and biodiversity improvement – or creating space for community projects for renewable energy, low-carbon, affordable housing, urban farms, forests and Green spaces

“Chairman, I firmly believe in investing in economic recovery in all parts of the country – including rural areas

“Given the acute impact of the pandemic on our rural communities, we will be doubling the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund and helping tourist attractions and their communities make improvements to cater to the increased visitor numbers.

“Our £ 801 million investment in agriculture support will provide our farmers, crofters and land managers the much-needed stability – and help our agricultural sector play a leading role in our net zero transition

“Over the next five years the low-carbon fund raised an additional 150 million GBP allocated to forestry and forestry, a 50% increase in tree planting and forest management from 12000 hectares this year to 18Support 000 hectares by mid-decade

“And our bog restoration expenditure is under a ten-year commitment of 250 million GBP increase 10% “

“Digital connectivity has been a major prepandemic, but because of the changes in the way we work, shop, and socialize due to COVID-19, it is fundamental to our future prosperity

“The review I commissioned at Mark Logan provided an industry-leading blueprint to establish Scotland as a world-class hub for tech startups It has rightly received wide acclaim

“To get more people into the digital world, we will be investing nearly 100 million pounds in digital connectivity This includes funding our Reaching 100% program and improving cellular coverage by providing 4G and 5G infrastructure to ensure that no part of Scotland is excluded

“Our recovery can be long and difficult, and we cannot guarantee that there will be no more difficult times

“And now that a large-scale vaccination is being conducted, initially focusing on the most vulnerable, there is some light at the end of the tunnel

“This budget is designed to build on that hope, and by focusing on how we continue to protect, restore, rebuild and renew our country, the light at the end of the tunnel should shine a little brighter”

Kate Forbes

World News – UK – After the Scottish budget was unveiled this afternoon, here is Kate Forbes’ full statement

Source: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-budget-kate-forbes-statement-full-3116209