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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.


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.


  • 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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