Budget puts people and planet first
The co-leaders of the Scottish Greens say that today’s draft Scottish budget has people and planet at its heart, with £4.7 billion for climate and nature and more than £6 billion for protecting the most vulnerable people.
Patrick Harvie MSP and Lorna Slater MSP, both ministers in the Scottish Government, say it offers a clear contrast to Westminster’s attack on public services by choosing to take the next step in fair tax reform to protect services and investment where it can
Among today’s key announcements are:
- £4.7 billion of investment with positive benefit for climate
- More than £1 billion in uplift to take social security spending to over £6.3 billion
- Almost £360m for warmer, greener homes
- £158m for nature and woodland restoration
- Record funding of £220m for active travel, delivering safer, healthier neighbourhoods
Mr Harvie said: “Today’s draft budget is the most difficult since devolution but has confronted head on the disastrous settlement the Scottish Government had inflicted on it by Westminster and has explicitly chosen to ensure it protects those struggling the most during this cost-of-living crisis.
“By raising the Scottish Child Payment further, by sustaining tangible benefits such as free bus travel for under 22s and people seeking asylum, and asking those who can to pay a little more, we are lifting as many people as we can out of poverty and ensuring core green values will see further progress being made.
“Scotland is building a green economy that is already delivering tens of thousands of jobs, creating new sustainable careers, attracting billions of pounds of investment, future proofing warmer, greener homes and making society fairer. Today’s decisions ensure that growth continues.”
Ms Slater said: “Today we have announced the largest ever funding package for climate and nature in Scotland, sending a clear message to the world that in stark contrast to the UK Government, we are determined to deliver a net zero economy centred around our renewables industry and restoring Scotland’s natural environment.”
“While the Tories cling on to fossil fuels, we are powering ahead with clean energy. While they pump ever more sewage into their rivers, we are flowing funding into restoring our natural environment, and resourcing NatureScot, SEPA, and our national parks to do more. In the face of a very challenging budget, climate leadership needed firm decisions, and that is what we delivered today.
“Scotland’s budget is imprinted with core green values, puts people and planet first. It is a progressive budget that continues to build for a better future despite facing the very many challenges of the now and without the full powers independence would clearly provide.”