It's Scottish Budget day. Here's 8 things the Green budget deal means:
1: £170m for schools, streets and social care
Schools, streets, libraries, parks and social care. The Green budget deal has secured an extra £170m to fund local services and help pay fair wages. This reverses all the £157m of local government cuts proposed by the SNP government and adds a bit more in.
2: 73,000+ more workers get a pay rise
The Green deal means a better deal for more than 73,000 nurses, teachers and others. The deal will increase the number of government-controlled public sector workers who will get an inflation-based pay rise from 51% to 75%.
3: Leading the change on progressive tax
Green ideas have lead the change in Scottish income tax. Everyone getting less than the average wage will pay less or no income tax, while people earning the most will be asked to help fund better public services, collectively bringing the Scottish Budget from a cut into the positive. The ‘anomaly’ where high earners receive a tax break will be fixed.
4: People-powered railway re-opening fund
The Green budget deal will create the first-ever community rail fund to turn good transport ideas into reality. This will help fund the technical work needed to get stations reopened and new lines into the construction pipeline.
5: Protection for whales, dolphins and other marine life
Scotland’s seas and coasts are amazing. The Green deal means that four conservation areas to protect whales, dolphins, sharks and other marine life will be progressed.
6: High-carbon down; low-carbon up
High-carbon projects like new trunk roads will halve, from 23% to 12% of total capital spend. Low carbon projects like rail, buses and warm homes will go up, from 21% to 28%, with a promise for more in future years. The remaining money will go on projects like new schools or hospitals judged to be broadly neutral. This shift is vital to help build a low carbon society, and not lock us into future pollution.
7: Fuel poverty budget protected
The Green deal has protected the budget used to insulate homes, fix leaky windows and tackle fuel poverty. An additional £2m will go into making homes warm and energy efficient.
8: No air passenger duty cuts
The SNP’s plans for rich frequent flyers and the aviation industry have been shelved - for now. Green campaigning on this issue has been instrumental and 96% of people responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation opposed to the cut.