A budget with Green values at its core

Today's budget has Green priorities running through it.

Today the Scottish Parliament will vote for a budget with Green values at its core. Despite the financial crisis and real terms cuts from Westminster, this Scottish Government budget delivers on key Green priorities.

Among the key commitments are:

  • £4.7 billion of investment for climate and nature
  • £6.3 billion for social security payments to protect the most vulnerable, an increase of over £1 billion
  • Writing-off school meal debt, providing relief for the most vulnerable families
  • Extension of the special offer removing peak time rail fares until the end of June
  • Almost £360 million for warmer, greener homes
  • Record funding of £220 million for active travel, delivering safer, healthier neighbourhoods

This is being funded by the most progressive tax system anywhere in the UK, with further changes to ensure that the top 5% of earners pay a bit more to fund vital public services.

Scottish Greens finance spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said: “Despite Westminster’s disastrous underfunding of Scotland, we have used the limited powers and resources available to us to make sure this budget protects people and planet.

“It will continue the work we have done to lift 90,000 children out of poverty over the past year. We are delivering an extra £1 billion worth of support to hard pressed families, with the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment increasing to £26.70 per week, the cancellation of unfair and stigmatising school meal debt, and the extension of the special offer removing peak rail fares, which has already saved regular commuters hundreds of pounds since October.

“It is also a record budget for our planet, with the largest ever funding package for climate and nature. That includes more money than ever before for walking, wheeling and cycling and continued investment in areas like wind energy which are creating thousands of quality new jobs.

“I am proud that we are funding this through by far the most progressive tax system anywhere in the UK. Thanks to tax changes delivered by the Scottish Greens, an extra £1.5 billion will go into our NHS and other vital public services.

“The contrast with a cruel and incompetent Tory government trying to cut its way out of a crisis could not be clearer. They are holding Scotland back, assisted by an untrustworthy Labour party which now opposes large chunks of it's own manifesto.

“Despite the serious constraints and limitations imposed by Westminster, we have delivered a budget with Green values at its core. We are investing in our climate and our communities and continuing our work to build a better future for people and planet.”