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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 16:49 GMT
Finance Department - budget plans
The finance department, which is headed by Finance Secretary John Swinney, is responsible for the economy, the Scottish budget, local government and public service delivery.


BUDGET STATEMENT 2007/08

Transport makes up the biggest element of this portfolio, which also includes funds for Scotland's enterprise network and plans to make the public sector work more efficiently, and a requirement for each portfolio to deliver 2% efficiency savings per year.

There are also plans to encourage innovation, but the manifesto-proposed level of the so-called "Saltire prize" has reduced.

Here are the main announcements:

  • Rail infrastructure - 0.7bn per year.
  • Motorway and trunk road network - 932.6m, 1,063.7m and 1,181.4m over the three years of the spending plan.
  • Replacement Forth crossing - 20m, 25m and 30m.
  • Ferry services - 92.4m, 105.1m and 111m.
  • Free bus travel for more than one million people - 181.4m, 187.4m and 189.4m.
  • Improve water quality and infrastructure - 182m a year.
  • Refocusing the enterprise network to take on tourism - 448.6m, 433.8m and 431.4m.
  • Investment through Regional Selective Assistance and other direct government innovation support - 60m per year.
  • Increase spending on energy and climate change to 33m a year by 2010/11.
  • Saltire Prize to recognise innovation - 2m annual fund and a 10m "horizon prize", initially focussing on renewable energy.

  • MAIN SNP MANIFESTO PLEDGES

  • Scrap the Council Tax and introduce a Local Income Tax set at 3p.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of 8,000 or less to pay no business rates. Businesses with a rateable value of between 8,001 and 10,000 will be entitled to a 50% business rate relief. Businesses with a rateable value of between 10,001 and 15,000 will be entitled to a relief of 25%.
  • Review of agency structure, with a clear aim of reducing bureaucracy, and overlap. (Announced by Alex Salmond during his conference speech)
  • Refocus the enterprise network.
  • Publication of a White Paper, encompassing a Bill, detailing the concept of Scottish Independence. (Bill published).
  • Proposed 1m kick-start fund to develop world-wide projects similar to Scotland House opened in Estonia.
  • Not-for-profit Scottish Futures Trust as a PPP/PFI alternative in the first term of an SNP government.
  • An additional 10m to support cutting edge research in Scotland.
  • 5m Saltire prize to promote future innovation and harness Scotland's creative energy.




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