“The passage of the budget provides £42.5 billion of investment in our public services and economy delivering for the people of Scotland today, whilst building for our future,” said finance secretary Derek Mackay. “This is a budget that ensures stability, sustainability and economic stimulus.”
The budget invests more than £825m - as part of a total investment in excess of £3bn - to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the parliament. Other items in the budget include prioritisation for £500m to expand funded early learning and childcare through measures including investment in building, refurbishment and extension of around 750 nurseries and family centres. The budgets also includes initial funding of £130m towards the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank.
Mackay added: “Scotland’s economy continues to grow and unemployment is at the lowest on record but our prosperity is being put at risk by the increasing Brexit uncertainty, and in particular the ‘No Deal’ scenario. Today’s Chief Economist report shows that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would be expected to push the Scottish economy into recession during 2019, with the potential for the economy to contract by between 2.5% and 7% by the end of 2019. Such an economic slowdown would risk a rise in unemployment from its current record low, with up to 100,000 more people in Scotland made unemployed.”