Funding announced to help tackle the cost of living crisis.
The 2022-2023 Scottish Budget Bill has been backed by MSPs.
During the Stage 3 debate in the Scottish Parliament, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a further £290 million in financial support to help address the rising cost of living.
Ms Forbes said that while the Scottish Government is awaiting final confirmation from the Treasury on funding allocations, the £290 million for Scotland announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last week is not likely to mean net additional funding. This is due to an expected reduction of a similar amount in other consequential funding previously anticipated through the forthcoming UK Government Supplementary Estimates.
Despite these budget pressures and existing support in place to help people, Scottish Ministers have honoured the commitment to allocate £290 million to help tackle the cost of living crisis and are going further to ensure those hardest hit have support. New measures announced include:
- £280 million to provide £150 to every household in receipt of Council Tax Reduction in any Band and to provide £150 to all other occupied households in Bands A to D. This means 1.85 million households, or 73% of all households, will receive financial support through their council tax bill or a direct payment.
- £10 million in 2022-23 to continue the Fuel Insecurity Fund to help households from rationing their energy use
This is in addition to the £120 million previously announced for local government in 2022-23.
A further £39.5 million has also been allocated to businesses from the £375 million of Omicron business support funding for the current financial year. Following consultation with businesses, who asked for financial support to now focus on economic recovery, this funding will help support local economies and cities continue their economic recovery and help build a more resilient economy. Funding allocated includes:
- £16 million for culture and major events
- £7.5 million to support inbound tour operators
- £6.5 million to support the childcare sector
- £3.5 million for outbound travel agents
- £3 million for city centre recovery
- £3 million to help digitalise SMEs to increase competitiveness, productivity and drive growth