Scottish Government
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Budget 2010-11

The Scottish Government today set out its spending plans for next year to the Scottish Parliament.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said this will include more funding for training and educational places and further support for measures to tackle climate change and fuel poverty.

Mr Swinney also announced an Independent Budget Review will be established to consider the implications of forecasts of reductions in public spending in Scotland and that the Scottish Government will, on a monthly basis, publish online details of all items of expenditure above £25,000.

Speaking during the Budget Bill Stage 3 debate, Mr Swinney also announced that as part of its forthcoming announcement about business rate reliefs following the 2010 revaluation, the thresholds of the Small Business Bonus scheme will be increased to ensure that in Scotland we deliver the best package of small business reliefs available anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Mr Swinney said:

"I am presenting to Parliament a budget that meets the needs of the people of Scotland, addressing the economic and financial challenges we face and supporting our frontline services.

"A budget that prioritises the areas of expenditure that matter most, in the face of cuts this year, and prepares us for the challenges that lie ahead.

"It is also a Budget that is responsive - both to pressures that have crystallised since we published our draft proposals in September, and to the suggestions put to me by other parties, particularly on economic recovery.

"I have used every flexibility available to me within the tight overall financial envelope in an effort to build parliamentary support for this Budget.

"With additional funding for training and educational places, support for measures to tackle climate change and fuel poverty, this Government has listened to the views of Parliament. We have faced the tough decisions and have set out proposals to help Scotland through the difficult times within the fixed Budget we have.

"This is a Budget that will support economic recovery and protect frontline services - a Budget for all of Scotland."

Key elements of today's announcements:

  • The Scottish Government has established an Independent Budget Review to consider the implications of forecasts of reductions in public spending in Scotland and make recommendations about the options for delivering public services within a more constrained public expenditure environment
  • The Scottish Government will, on a monthly basis, publish online details of all items of expenditure above £25,000, beginning with payments processed in April 2010
  • In order to help students who wish to continue their studies at college, in relation to the current financial year the Scottish Government will use the Spring Budget Revision, introduced to Parliament yesterday, to transfer 20 million pounds in emerging underspend into the Education and Lifelong Learning portfolio from elsewhere, specifically to support higher education students in our colleges and universities at a time when there are more students than ever entering the system
  • In addition, the Scottish Government is providing an additional £10 million in 2010-11, drawing on the budget consequentials arising from the December 2009 Pre-Budget Report, to ensure those demands continue to be met in the academic year 2010-11. Together, these measures will help support 7,500 more students in further and higher education and will result in additional college places being created.
  • The Scottish Government is maintaining the high level of Modern Apprenticeship (MA) opportunities, making available 15,000 MA places, which, alongside other flexible training opportunities, amount to a package of 34,500 new training places in 2010-11
  • The Scottish Government is establishing a new area-based, universal access £10 million Home Insulation Scheme, drawing on the budget consequentials arising from the December 2009 Pre-Budget Report, which will enable us to offer home insulation measures to around 90,000 homes in the course of 2010-11
  • The Scottish Government is committing, in full, the £2 million Barnett consequentials received as a result of UK Government expenditure on its boiler scrappage scheme to support boiler scrappage in Scotland, as part of the Scottish Energy Efficiency Action Plan due to be published in the Spring
  • The Scottish Government is committing one million pounds to the establishment in 2010-11 of a Post Office Diversification Fund. The Government will issue a public consultation on the scheme, drawing on the outcomes of recent parliamentary debate
  • The Scottish Government has confirmed that, as part of its forthcoming announcement about business rate reliefs following the 2010 revaluation, the thresholds of the Small Business Bonus scheme will be increased to ensure that in Scotland we deliver the best package of small business reliefs available anywhere in the United Kingdom. The thresholds will be:

Thresholds by rateable value (rv) (£)

2009-10

Current threshold

2010-11

New threshold

100% relief

£8,000

£10,000

50% relief

£10,000

£12,000

25%

£15,000

£18,000

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