The Scottish government’s constrained budget is a bold, ambitious and progressive funding package to create a greener, fairer Scotland.
In tough times, when many families are facing challenges to household income, Kate Forbes announced that the child payment in Scotland would be doubled.
This means each eligible household will get £40 per month extra, benefitting over 105,000 children. Compare this to the UK government insisting on cutting benefits to those who need them.
For our valued public service workers, we are implementing a £10.50-an-hour income floor, meaning those working in health, social care and beyond are given fair remuneration, whatever their role.
To help our young people get out and about, we are also making bus travel free to under-22-year-olds. Some £110 million will be invested to get the scheme off the ground.
In recognition of the need for councils to have greater flexibility in the delivery of their services, the council tax freeze has been lifted. For you and me, income tax will remain the same and be more equitably structured than the rest of the UK.
While Scotland’s budget is hampered by the effects of Brexit – as is the case for elsewhere in the country too – we can rely on Kate Forbes’ steady hand to open opportunities and provide support where it really counts.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary