Investing in public services and growing the economy will be prioritised in spending plans to help protect Scotland’s prosperity as far as is possible in the face of continued uncertainty over Brexit.
Speaking ahead of the Scottish budget, Derek Mackay said:
“On Wednesday, I will set out the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the year ahead. The Budget will protect vital public services and prioritise spending on health, education and economic investment.
“The Programme for Government set out our vision to build on the progress of the last decade. The 2019-20 Scottish Budget will support that vision by ensuring we remain focused on delivering for today and investing for tomorrow.
“Our policies have already ensured that Scotland benefits from quality public services and our progressive reforms to income tax have protected those on the lowest incomes. We will take forward discussions with others on this budget in the weeks ahead and into the New Year. However, it is incumbent on anyone proposing additional spending in one specific area to say how they would propose to fund the change.
“Brexit remains the biggest threat to Scotland’s prosperity. In every area of the country there will be businesses, organisations, communities, people and families who will suffer if we leave the Single Market and Customs Union, which is eight times larger than the UK market alone. That is why staying in the EU is in Scotland’s best interests.
“However, this Scottish Budget will not be defined by Brexit. It will set out how we help protect Scotland as far as we can from the damaging uncertainty of the UK Government’s Brexit policy and how we will deliver on our vision of a healthier, wealthier and fairer Scotland.”