Budget 2020: Scotland

Whisky and broadband gain as Scotland gets extra funds

Scottish Parliament Holyrood

The Scottish government has more money to spend (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland will benefit from £640 million of additional funding with a further boost for the Scottish food and drink industry and to speed up broadband connections.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced a package of measures to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, with the Scottish Government to receive support for public services, vulnerable people and to reduce the costs for businesses.

The Scottish government will need to respond to Mr Sunak’s tone-year abolition of business rates for small shops and restaurants.

Mr Sunak, said: “Our central mission is to level up and unite people in our shared aims of a more prosperous country, in which opportunity is spread fairly across Scotland and the breadth of our United Kingdom.

“This is a Budget that will deliver for the Scottish people, with £640 million in extra funding for the Scottish Government, a significant boost to broadband infrastructure and a package of support for the Scotch whisky industry, among other economic measures.

“Our United Kingdom is the most successful political and economic union in history, and through this Budget we will further strengthen the ties that bind us and kickstart a decade of investment in all our communities.”

The Scottish food and drink industry will receive £1 million to promote the sector, including Scotch. There will be a freeze on spirits duty, and a £10 million package of support over three years will be dedicated to research and development to decarbonise UK distilleries.

There are plans to roll-out gigabit capable broadband to the hardest to reach areas of Scotland and increase 4G coverage in Scotland from 42% to 74%. Tay Cities has also successfully bid for £6.7 million to fund full fibre broadband while £5m will be for trials of 5G in Scotland.

The Budget also confirmed £25 million for an Argyll & Bute Growth Deal.

Alister Jack: a great budget for Scotland

Mr Sunak said commitments to increase the National Living Wage, National Insurance thresholds and the Employment Allowances across the UK, mean someone working full time on the minimum wage in Scotland will be more than £5,200 better off compared to ten years ago.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said: “This is a great budget for Scotland. Decisions taken by the UK Government over the last year will deliver an almost £2 billion funding boost for the Scottish Government.

“People and businesses right across Scotland will see the benefits – with money for broadband, research and development, green technology and support to promote Scottish produce overseas among the many measures we’ve announced today.

“We will continue our extensive investment in growth deals across Scotland, now at almost £1.5 billion, with confirmation of £25 million UK Government funding for Argyll and Bute. Every part of Scotland will be covered by growth deals, with investment to be announced soon for Falkirk and the Scottish islands.”


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