SNP releases new budget for economic recovery

John Swinney unveiled the budget for economic recovery today

TRANSPORT, housing, health and digital projects will receive new investment to help boost the economy, John Swinney told Parliament today.

The Finance Secretary confirmed during the final stage of the Budget Bill 2012-13 that additional capital spending of 382 million pounds for 2012 -2015, supporting around 5,000 jobs, has been allocated to support Scotland’s economic growth.

The Scottish Government will also support students by investing an additional 19.5 million pounds in our young people, through maintaining top-up funding for student support provided in 2011-12 and providing an additional 8 million pounds next year to the Scottish Funding Council to help colleges play their part in delivering Opportunities for All commitments.

Despite cuts in Scotland’s budget, including the removal of 6.7 billion pounds in real terms from the capital budget over four years, the Budget Bill 2012-13 allocates 28.3 billion pounds of public spending.

John Swinney said: “This is a Budget that boosts public sector capital investment, takes direct action to tackle unemployment, in particular youth unemployment and enhances economic security across the Scottish economy.

“So I am now allocating an additional 382 million pounds of capital investment in new transport, housing and digital projects. That money will build new roads, deliver new homes and upgrade to high speed broadband, targeted in rural areas. We are also putting money into maintaining our NHS assets, in the prison estate to meet the needs of female prisoners, into boosting sustainable and active travel and into culture budgets, while local government will receive an additional 54 million pounds of capital funding to spend on their own local priorities

“I also recognise that reform takes time and that the economic climate continues to pose challenges for our students. I have listened carefully to the compelling case put to me by Scotland’s student community and I wish to send a strong additional message of support today.

“I can confirm today that, on top of the 20 million pounds additional funding recently announced for the sector, we will repeat for 2012-13 the top-up funding for student support provided in 2011-12, totalling an additional 11.4 million pounds.

“That 40 million pounds of additional investment leaves no doubt about the strength of our commitment to our colleges and toScotland’s students.”

“I have listened to views from acrossScotlandand this is a budget for growth that puts the interests of our economy, our public services and the people ofScotlandfirst.”