Scottish Budget Deal will deliver for Stirling


Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Economics, SNP Scottish Government

Local Councillor Evelyn Tweed and Stirling MP Alyn Smith

Stirling MP Alyn Smith and local Councillor Evelyn Tweed have welcomed news that the Scottish Government have secured support from the Scottish Greens for budget proposals.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has struck a deal which guarantees the Budget Bill can clear its final stages in Parliament. The ambitious plans will benefit families, households and businesses across Stirling.

The new commitments build on previous announcements from the Finance Secretary which aim to address the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, and laying firm foundations for the nation’s recovery. These include meeting the main ask of business by extending 100% rates relief for the retail, hospitality, leisure, aviation and newspaper sectors for a further 12 months – considerably exceeding the relief offered in England – supporting families by allocating money for a council tax freeze and providing a record £16 billion to the NHS.

Agreed plans include:

  • Pandemic Support Payments of £130 to households receiving Council Tax Reduction and two payments of £100 to families of children qualifying for free school meals
  • the phased introduction of free school meals to all primary school children by August 2022
  • an £800 pay rise for public sector workers earning up to £25,000, and a 2% increase for those earning over £25,000 up to £40,000.
  • extending free bus travel to under 22s
  • £40 million to support the green recovery, including a further £15 million for active travel, £10 million for energy efficiency, £10 million for biodiversity and £5 million for agri-environmental measures

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘It’s fantastic to see Scottish democracy in full-flow, with parties working together constructively to achieve mutual aims and goals. Initial budget proposals made valuable strides to address the economic damage left by the pandemic, and today’s announcement of further measures, agreed with Scottish Green party parliamentary colleagues, will be most welcomed by businesses and households across Stirling.’

Local Councillor Evelyn Tweed said:

‘This agreed budget will secure Scotland, and Stirling’s, economic and social recovery from this dreadful disease. As a representative of a rural area myself, I’m keenly aware of the challenges young people can face in employment and education. Commitments over free bus travel for under 22s will be an absolute gamechanger, and enhance rural connectivity for many of my constituents.’


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