The SNP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to place Covid recovery at the heart of Budget plans.

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced more than £200 million for the Scottish National Investment Bank, a non-domestic rates package saving businesses more than £800 million and the first part of a £500 million Just Transition Fund for the North East and Moray.

This investment was announced in the context of a block grant from the UK government that falls far short in terms of economic support during a global health pandemic.

David Eisner of the Fraser of Allander Institute said that while a block grant 8% higher than before the pandemic “might well sound generous, but actually I think to deal with the pandemic’s legacy and the pressure on public services it is really not very generous at all”.

Michelle Thomson MSP said:

“Recovery from the Covid pandemic is a priority for each and every one of us in Scotland. Our economy needs support and stability in the face of pandemic uncertainty - which the SNP Scottish Government has put front and centre in its spending plans for the year ahead.

“Despite a challenging financial outlook in the face of an incompetent Westminster government, I’m delighted to see more than £600 million of investment across Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Scottish National Investment Bank and VisitScotland.

“A recovery for all of Scotland must reach every part - both geographically and socially. Investment of nearly £24 million for Fair Start Scotland will provide person-centred support for people further from the labour market, including disabled people, those with long term health conditions and from minority ethnic communities.

“Within the strict confines of the devolution settlement, the Finance Secretary has put our recovery at the heart of decision making. But with the full powers of independence, Scotland can escape Westminster control completely - using the powers at our disposal to boost the economy, create more green jobs and deliver a fair, equal and green future for future generations.”


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