Budget Bill passes stage one

Proposed legislation to implement Scotland’s Budget for 2021-22 has passed its first parliamentary hurdle.

MSPs have voted to endorse the general principles of the Budget Bill at stage one. They also approved the Scottish Rate Resolution, setting all income tax rates and bands.

The budget includes a 12-month extension of 100 per cent rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure, aviation and newspaper businesses, £1.1 billion for jobs and skills, record spending for health services, an £11.6 billion settlement for local government and new funding to tackle climate change.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I have sought to engage constructively to deliver a budget that meets the needs of the nation. We have listened and we have delivered on key asks.

“[The] vote sends a signal that this parliament can work together during the national emergency to support our economy and public services, continue the vaccination programme and drive our recovery from the pandemic. I remain committed to further dialogue with all parties in the coming days to build and reflect consensus across parliament and secure the budget’s passage.

“I also welcome Parliament’s approval of our tax policies, which deliver the certainty and stability that is needed from the tax system for individuals and businesses in Scotland.

“No Scottish taxpayer will pay more income tax in 2021-22 than they do now on their current income and, for a fourth consecutive year, more than half of Scottish income taxpayers will pay less tax than if they lived anywhere else in the UK.”