Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work has presented the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget for 2019/20.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the Cabinet Secretary highlighted key aspects of the Draft Budget document, which contains commitments to:
- Additional resource funding for the Health and Sport portfolio of £729 million (5.5 per cent)
- Continue to shift the balance of care towards mental health, primary care and social care, to ensure that by the end of this parliament more than half of frontline NHS spending is in community health services
- Increase the Scottish Government’s direct investment in mental health by £27 million, taking overall funding for mental health to £1.1 billion
- Investment in health and social care integration totalling more than £700 million
- Provide local government with a real terms increase in total overall support of £11.1 billion, including an additional £40 million of funding to extend free personal care to under 65s
- Invest £435m on direct social security assistance. This includes some entitlements administered by Social Security Scotland such as £37m on Carers Allowance Supplement, £12m for Best Start Grant and £6m for Funeral Expense Assistance
- Dedicate £80m to the continued development and expansion of systems and processes for implementation of the social security system
- Allocate £100m to mitigate the “bedroom tax”.
- Increase of the Fair Food Fund to £3.5m in order to tackle food insecurity during school holidays.
Other priorities outlined in the budget document included;
- Implement self-directed support
- Continue to support delivery of the Living Wage for social care staff working in adult services
- consider the evidence for, and views on, a potential new national scheme to provide extra financial support to people with the highest social care needs
- Work with key partners, including COSLA, to support workforce planning for integrated social care services
- Work to provide the third sector with greater stability of funding and the opportunity for longer-term planning and development.