Scottish Parliament has backed greenest budget in its history

The Scottish Parliament has backed the greenest budget in its history and made vital steps for our environment and wellbeing, say the Scottish Greens.

This comes as MSPs have voted to support the Scottish Government’s Budget for 2023/24, including an extra £100 million for local councils announced by the Deputy First Minister earlier today.

The Budget includes £2.2 billion worth of climate and nature investment, as well as the expansion of free school meals to 20,000 more children and the scrapping of peak rail fares.

Speaking after the vote, the Scottish Greens finance spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP said:

“Scottish Green values run right through this Budget. We have taken a laser like focus to tackling child poverty and escalating our actions to protect the climate. 

“It is the greenest budget in the history of our Parliament and I am very proud of the work we have done in cooperation with Deputy First Minister John Swinney in particular, to deliver it.

“We want Scotland to be the best country to live and grow up in, and this Budget takes us a big step closer to that, with a big expansion of free school meals and the £25 per week Scottish Child Payment, as well as scrapping peak rail fares and continued free bus travel for young people.

“The additional £100 million for local councils will go a long way towards protecting services whilst ensuring council staff receive fair pay rises.

“We are funding all of this through the most progressive tax system in the whole of the UK. By raising the highest rates of Income Tax and the tax on second home purchases, we are asking the wealthiest people in Scotland who are paying a bit more to ensure that essential support is provided to those who need it.

“All of this stands in stark contrast to a failing Tory government that is trying to cut its way out of a crisis and offering a reheated version of the same policy programme that failed so catastrophically under David Cameron and George Osborne.”