The Scottish Parliament has backed the greenest budget in its history and made vital steps for our environment and wellbeing, says Highlands & Islands MSP Ariane Burgess.
The Budget includes £2.2 billion worth of climate and nature investment, as well as the expansion of free school meals to 20,000 more children and the scrapping of peak rail fares.
Speaking after the vote, Ariane said:
“We want Scotland to be the best country to live and grow up in, and this Budget takes us a step closer to that, with a big expansion of free school meals and the £25 per week Scottish Child Payment, as well as scrapping peak rail fares and continued free bus travel for young people.
“The additional £100 million for local councils will go a long way towards protecting services whilst ensuring council staff receive fair pay rises.
“The Highlands & Islands community-based culture, arts and heritage activities are a big part of what makes our region special and I’m delighted that, through budget negotiations, we’ve been able to secure financial certainty for the sector.
“All of this stands in stark contrast to a failing Tory government that is trying to cut its way out of a crisis and offering a reheated version of the same policy programme that failed so catastrophically under David Cameron and George Osborne.”