8 February 2012

Stevenson Welcomes Passage Of Scottish Budget

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the passage of the Scottish budget for 2012/13. Despite the severe restrictions on spending caused as a result of the spending decisions made by the UK Government, the Scottish Government has made creating a jobs a priority through re-profiling £750 million from revenue to capital spending.

In addition to this, funding is in place to continue the important council tax freeze and small business bonus scheme which are playing a critical part in Scotland’s efforts to boost the economy. The budget also contains measures to see the construction of a replacement prison in Peterhead and to build the AWPR once legal delays can be overcome.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“Without the normal financial powers of an independent country, the funds available to the Scottish Government are determined by the spending cuts being made south of the border. This has meant some incredibly tough decisions have had to be made, but I fully believe that this budget has done everything possible to protect important measures and continue efforts towards economic recovery.

“As promised during the election, there is funding to ensure that council tax remains frozen. Without this measure, an average band D property in Aberdeenshire could be paying £246 more than they were in 2008 when we first froze the tax.

“The small business bonus will continue to ensure that thousands of small businesses across Scotland pay either no rates or have substantially reduced bills.

“Perhaps most significantly for jobs and economic growth, however, is the priority that has been put on continued capital spending, with funding in place for a replacement prison in Peterhead and for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. These are significant projects for Banffshire & Buchan Coast and the funds for them are good news for the area.”

Stewart Stevenson
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