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LOCHHEAD HAILS SCOTTISH BUDGET AS GOOD NEWS FOR MORAY

17/12/2017  

Richard Lochhead MSP has welcomed the Scottish Governments draft budget proposals, describing the spending plans as great news for Moray.

The Scottish Government’s budget protects low and middle income earners and delivers for public services and public sector workers, the MSP said – after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay laid his plans before the Scottish Parliament.

The budget delivers progressive reforms to Scotland’s income tax system, with modest increases on high earners while a majority of taxpayers will pay less than in the rest of the UK. Polling has found that most Scots back an increase in income tax for those who can afford it.

Mr Mackay also outlined plans to spend an additional £400 million on the NHS, an expansion in childcare, more spending on broadband, extra funding for our police and fire services – and a pay rise for hard-working public sector employees. Many of the proposals for business will also benefit the Moray economy.

Mr Lochhead said:

“The Scottish Government proposals outlined by the Finance Secretary today are to be warmly welcomed with significant investment in the rollout of superfast broadband and investment in early years and childcare. 

“I’m also pleased that the SNP Government has protected local authority budgets which will hopefully mean the Conservatives on Moray Council will now dump some of their more draconian proposals, such as cutting support for our children and schools.

“The changes to the income tax system will mean that the vast majority of Scots will save money, with every worker earning less than £33,000 paying less in tax next year, while protecting the public services that we all value.  In Moray, we have one of the lowest wage economies in the country meaning a high number of households will benefit from the introduction of 19p tax rate.

“This budget really is great news for hard working families locally, particularly with the commitment to remove the public sector pay cap which will undoubtedly be music to the ears of the thousands of public sector workers in Moray.  The workers who deliver our local services, who keep us safe and healthy, and who teach our children, are a key part of our communities and this is a well-deserved pay-rise for them after years of Tory austerity.

“Our local business community will also benefit from many of the measures proposed in this draft budget to support construction, skills and infrastructure.

“In the face of the challenges presented by a cut to Scottish Government funding, ongoing Tory austerity, and their extreme Brexit – this budget provides the investment we need to meet these challenges and seize the opportunities to protect local living standards in Moray and support our local economy.”

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