The Scottish Government published its draft 2017/18 spending plans this afternoon. It was also formally presented to Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay MSP.

scot-govt-17-18-budget-coverThe most high-profile budget elements include a £120m package for schools to address the attainment gap, £470m capital investment to initiate progress towards 50k affordable homes in the current Scottish Parliament term, local government funding, an expanded Small Business Bonus Scheme, and a commitment not to change income tax rates/bands in line with the UK.

SURF’s quick summary of the regeneration-specific elements are as follows:

The Social Justice and Regeneration Directorate’s budget will fall by £700k or 1% from £60.5m in 16/17 to £59.2m in 17/18.

The Directorate’s budget priorities are identified as: “to tackle social justice… mitigate against UK Government welfare cuts… continue to support regeneration initiatives which respond to local circumstances, involve local people in identifying the issues and co-create solutions, address market failure, and increase opportunities to attract investment and jobs in disadvantaged areas.“

 A number of regeneration commitments are confirmed on p94, including:

  • “We will provide nearly £55 million to invest in the regeneration of disadvantaged communities” [which includes continuation of the People & Communities Fund & Regeneration Capital Grant Fund programmes]
  • “We will invest a total of £20 million in the Empowering Communities Fund directly supporting the aspirations of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015”
  • “We will stimulate activity under the Town Centre Action Plan and support the implementation of the Town Centre First Principle
  • “We will deliver the Aspiring Communities Fund as part of the European Social Fund strategic intervention to accelerate the design and delivery of sustainable community-led solutions to poverty and exclusion.” [the size of this fund is not stated]
Cabinet Secretary Derek Mackay presented the budget to Parliament

Cabinet Secretary Derek Mackay presented the budget to Parliament

The document also confirms:

  • Anti-poverty commitments previously revealed in the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, including the introduction of a Socio Economic Duty on public bodies, which featured in SURF’s 2016 Manifesto (p85-87).
  • Inclusive economic growth plans, including the creation of a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which SURF also lobbied for (p76)
  • The UK Government’s Autumn Statement concerning progress being made towards City Deals and Regional Partnership Plans in all Scottish cities (p155).
  • Plans for major transport infrastructure projects, including the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, the dualling of the A9, and £35m in Glasgow Subway modernisation (p126-134).
  • A 10% reduction in funding for SURF partner Highlands & Islands Enterprise, from £74.5m in 16/17 to £67m in 17/18 (p125).
  • Plans to “modernise compulsory purchase orders  to ensure vacant and derelict land can be brought into use for communities” (p100).

As the current SNP administration is a minority government, the draft budget is subject to negotiation and agreement with opposition parties in the coming weeks.

Share →

Stay Informed

Sign up to the SURF e-newsletter to receive regular updates on SURF events, publications and activities. Emails are sent approximately once per month, and you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Scotland
Dundee Partnership
Glasgow City Council
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Historic Environment Scotland
Museums Galleries Scotland
Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Scottish Gad
Scottish Government
Skills Development Scotland
Wheatley Group