Thursday’s budget delivered on the ask of the Scottish people for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland Finance Secretary John Swinney has said.
Mr Swinney also said that the terms of the budget confirm continued investment in services in the Angus area.
Setting out the budget to parliament, Mr Swinney said the plans, which also respond to the improved economic picture, would make Scotland a more prosperous country, tackle inequalities and continue to protect and invest in Scotland’s public services. He added that it would build on the Scottish Government’s track record since 2007 and take steps to meet the aspirations for Scotland set out in the recent referendum campaign.
Mr Swinney outlined that people living in Angus will benefit from average savings of around £1,200 due to extra money provided to freeze council tax since 2007; free prescriptions, free school meals; free personal care for the elderly; 600 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, and the most vulnerable two-year-olds; more affordable housing; continued measures to fully mitigate the Bedroom Tax; a commitment to the Living Wage, quality healthcare and a protected NHS budget
He also pledged funding for 1,000 additional police officers across Scotland’s streets,
In addition to this Angus will receive a £3.25 million share of the £10.8 billion local government allocation to boost its housing stock.
This comes on top of millions of pounds worth of investment to help fund the new Forfar Academy and Brechin High School.
Mr Swinney said: “We want to build a Scotland which shares its wealth with every one of its people, which is why this budget takes action to prioritise policies that help hard working families, protect the vulnerable and grow our economy.
“By providing the money to allow councils to freeze the Council Tax for the eighth year in a row we are putting cash back into the pockets of people across the country.
“It’s crucial that we develop our health service and meet the changing demands of people living in Angus, which is why we are also protecting the budget for the NHS.
“We have increased our spend on health and social care in NHS Tayside, and are developing top-class services for people in Angus through projects such as the new hospital at Stracathro which formed part of NHS Tayside’s mental health development project, and the redevelopment of the Nuclear Medicine Unit at Ninewells Hospital. By increasing our spend in 2015/16 we will maintain estates and replace equipment in the NHS Tayside area.”
“Westminster cuts to our spending make conditions very challenging for Scotland and we are doing everything possible to tackle these effects on some of the lowest paid people in our communities.
“Despite these pressures we are protecting Angus’s budget and continuing to invest in the area.”