9 February 2011

Stevenson Delighted As SNP Government Secures Passage Of Budget

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the passage of the Scottish Government's budget for 2011/2012 which will protect health spending, fund 25,000 modern apprenticeships, continue to freeze the council tax and help support small businesses.

This is despite the budget having seen a £1.3 billion cut in cash terms, or £1.8 billion in real terms, as a result of spending decisions made by the UK Government.‬‪

The budget includes £2.5 billion in infrastructure investment to help stimulate Scotland's economy, which includes funding for the AWPR and recently confirmed upgrade to the A90 in the North East.‬‪

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:‬‪‬‪‪

"This has been an extremely challenging budget given the scale of the cuts Scotland has been given, but I believe it makes the best of a bad situation and I am delighted it has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.‬‪

"It contains significant help for small businesses in Scotland, which will help to further boost our economic recovery, including more funding for our landmark Small Business Bonus Scheme which has seen rates abolished for thousands of small businesses and help for sole traders to take on a first member of staff.‬‪

"It contains £2.5 billion in infrastructure investment which will have a significant impact for Scotland's economy, including funding for the AWPR and an upgrade to the A90. It will also fund a record 25,000 modern apprenticeship places, 60% more than in the final year of the previous administration.‬‪

"This budget will help to protect household budgets by funding a continuation of the council tax freeze and removing prescription charges and it will protect vital services through increasing funding for the NHS. It is a good budget for Banff & Buchan in difficult times, and its passage is excellent news for local residents."‬
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