Budget Gets Holyrood Backing with Boost for Local Services
SNP Support Increase in Investment in Western Isles
Holyrood has backed the SNP’s budget plans, offering economic stability in the face of Brexit while giving a cash boost to the NHS, schools and other vital services.
Despite Westminster cuts of almost £2 billion in a decade to the money which the Scottish Government has available to spend, the SNP is proposing additional funding of almost £730 million for Scotland’s health and care services bringing NHS Western Isles’ budget up to £75.7 million.
Under the deal reached, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will receive an additional £1.6 million in spending power compared to last year’s budget as part of a total overall settlement of £11.1bn for local government.
The budget also includes more than £180 million to raise attainment in schools, and almost £500 million for the expansion of early learning and childcare.
SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said:
“With the UK government in complete chaos, the SNP in government are offering certainty and stability with a budget which protects public services, supports the economy, and helps build a fairer country.
“This budget uses our powers in a progressive way in order to protect and invest in our public services – with a major boost for the NHS.
“The budget contains a commitment to consult on the idea of giving local authorities the power to introduce a levy on tourism if they so wish. The potential through such a measure to help improve our local infrastructure in the Western Isles as a tourist destination is certainly worth further investigation.
“The commitment to continuing the process of local tax reform is also to be welcomed and I look forward to ensuring that any discussions include a recognition of the challenges faced in the islands.
“Giving our schools, hospitals and other vital services in the Western Isles the money they need to deliver better services for our communities is vital to this government. This is why I welcome Holyrood’s support for the budget.”