News In Focus
Budget Bill published
The Scottish Government has published its Budget Bill for the financial year 2011-12.
The bill reflects the draft budget published in November. This included agreement with COSLA to deliver a further council tax freeze, funding for major infrastructure projects such as the new Forth crossing, abolishing remaining prescription charges, introducing a pay freeze for public sector workers apart from a £250 rise for staff earning less than £21,000 a year, and maintaining existing eligibility criteria for free personal care and concessionary travel. It also includes the controversial proposed additional levy on supermarkets.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney said: "The plans we have published today are consistent with the draft budget published last year. We believe these plans represent the best way forward to promote economic recovery and protect frontline services.
"But, as a minority Government, we seek to build consensus across Parliament."
The stage 1 debate will be held in Parliament next Wednesday, 26 January.