Green priorities: protecting people and planet run through heart of Scottish budget

The Scottish budget will protect people and planet from the damaging being done by Westminster.

The Scottish Greens say defending people and planet from Westminster’s cuts and culture wars will lie at the heart of today's Scottish Budget.

It follows a year in which the UK Government has doubled down on more oil and gas fields, ditched key environmental policies, launched repeated assaults on Scottish democracy and splurged money on tax breaks for the mega-rich.

With Scottish Greens in government, Scotland is benefiting from a new green economy that is seeing a surge in renewable jobs, support for free bus and cheaper rail journeys and investment in programmes to make homes cheaper and greener to heat.

Allied with record investment for nature and walking, wheeling and cycling, the comparison with a Westminster government opening its arms to oil, gas, coal and nuclear could not be clearer.

The same is true of the Scottish Government’s social contract, from all school meal debt being cancelled as a result of proposals made by the Scottish Greens, to the weekly Scottish Child Payment helping lift 90,000 children out of poverty, private rents being capped and 100 million free bus journeys by those under 22, all measures designed to help protect people from Westminster’s cost of living crisis.

Scottish Greens finance spokesperson Ross Greer said: “This will be a budget for people and planet, developed in the shadow of a Westminster government which has flatly refused to adequately fund Scotland’s public services and which is going out of its way to damage our environment.

“Our budget reflects core Green values. We are protecting people and planet from Westminster and asking those with the deepest pockets to pay more than those on lower incomes, allowing us to fund key services like our NHS.

“There is no disguising how challenging life is for people across Scotland right now. The UK Government’s choice of tax cuts over public services has left the Scottish Government without the funding it needs to deliver every service to the level that we believe people deserve. The Scottish Greens’ priority has been to ensure that people and planet are protected to the greatest extent possible from the tough decisions we are now forced to make.

“If anything this budget serves as a clear reminder that until Scotland has the full powers of independence our public services will suffer from the choices made by Westminster governments which people here did not elect.”