On the afternoon of Thursday 6 February, Public Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP announced the Scottish budget for 2020/21 live from Holyrood. This was unusual in that the Scottish budget this year came over a month before the UK budget announcement in March, which means that there may be slight changes to the figures presented, depending on spending decisions subsequently taken in Westminster.
As expected, however, the key areas of focus in the budget were a response to the climate emergency, crucial investment in public services and health, and a growth in blue light tenders with increased funding going to Police Scotland.
DCI outlines the key statistics from the Scottish budget announcement below.
Scotland budget – facts and figures
The budget focused heavily on climate measures, with transforming Scotland through greener initiatives and lower carbon usage taking centre stage.
- £1.8 billion of capital investment in specific products to reduce carbon emissions. This is an increase of £500 million compared with last year.
- The Scottish Government has committed £250 million to peatland restoration over the next ten years, to be spent on large restoration projects which will enhance biodiversity in some of the most important habitats in Europe and generate more jobs in rural communities.
- £200 million of revenue-financed investment will go to local authorities to provide an incentive to use the assets available to reduce emissions and boost the economy through the Green Growth Accelerator.
- £64 million to support the commitment to plant 12,000 hectares of forestry, with the aim to reach 15,000 hectares by the mid-2020s.
- £120 million for a heat transition deal, to recognise the need to reduce the use of carbon in buildings. This will allow Scotland to seize the huge economic opportunity renewable heat will present – delivering thousands of new green jobs.
- £2 billion ringfenced for transformational investment in measures to support the delivery of the Climate Change Plan during the next Scottish parliamentary term.
Public and health services
The 2020/21 budget is a momentous event for public services in Scotland, marking the first time the Scottish Government has allocated more than £15 billion to health and care services, as well as increased funding to support other key public service areas in need.
- For the first time spending on general medical services will top £1 billion.
- Investment of £9.4 billion in health and social care partnerships.
- £117 million of investment in mental health support.
- Frontline services funding for the NHS boards will increase by £333 million, with a further £121 million increase to improve patient outcomes.
- An increase in overall funding for rail and bus services of £286 million. This will mean a total of £1.55 billion worth of investment in 2020/21.
- Investment in active travel will also increase to over £85 million promoting cycling, walking and more sustainable transport.
- A 3% pay uplift for public sector workers earning up to £80,000.
Police Scotland and other business areas
For a number of years, Police Scotland has experienced deep cuts in funding and officer numbers. Although these cuts have not been as severe as elsewhere in the UK, with England suffering the largest cuts to police services, there has been growing concern that police numbers in Scotland are no longer sufficient. This budget offers some relief in this area, which is positive news for new and existing suppliers looking to grow in the blue light tenders market and in the wider defence market.
- £72 million investment for Police Scotland, which is above the increase the Scottish Government had promised, in order to effectively maintain officer numbers. This represents a real-terms increase of £37 million to the police budget.
- Infrastructure investment will grow to nearly £1 billion in the first year of the National Infrastructure Mission.
- Total spending on finance, economy and fair work will increase from £5,336.8 million to £6,271.6 million.
If the Scottish budget proposals for 2020/21 are approved, they will come into force from 6 April 2020. It is worth mentioning that these proposals are estimates based on what measures MSPs think will be put in place in the UK budget in March.
Find out more information on what the Scottish budget 2020/21 means for your business on the Scottish Government website.
DCI can support your business
The Scottish budget 2020/21 presents a positive and productive prospect for the future of the blue light tenders market, with growing opportunities and increased investment in both infrastructure and Police Scotland. The time is now to get involved in the lucrative blue light tenders market and wider defence market.
DCI utilises powerful business intelligence solutions to give your organisation the tools you need to find, bid for and win more defence tenders and blue light tenders.
Find out how DCI can help your business and see the results for yourself.