Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:59 UK

At-a-glance: Scottish budget plan

john swinney

By Andrew Black
Political reporter, BBC Scotland news website

The Scottish Government has unveiled its proposed £35bn budget for the year ahead.

Holyrood ministers said they had been forced to make cuts, after a £500m reduction as a result of Westminster efficiency savings, but pledged to protect public services.

Here is a look at the proposals:

FINANCE AND TRANSPORT

The Scottish Government has scrapped the £120m Glasgow Airport Rail Link to help deal with what it says are UK government-imposed reductions in health spending.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney also expressed concerns about increasing costs of the project.

More generally, the Scottish Government's administration budget will be cut by £14m, while spending on advertising will be more than halved.

However, ministers will provide funding to councils to extend the council tax freeze to a third year.

HEALTH AND HOUSING

One of the most significant cuts, says the Scottish Government, is a plan by the UK government to reduce department of health spending.

This, the SNP says, means a £129m reduction for Scotland.

John Swinney says he can use unspent cash held by the Treasury, under end-year flexibility, to ensure the Scottish health service does not suffer.

But he says this would only keep the wolf from the door for one year - and announced the cancellation of the Glasgow rail link to save cash.

The housing and regeneration budget will see a sharp, £253m cut, which the government put down to a decision to accelerate investment to cope with the recession.

It insisted overall planned spending on affordable housing would stay at £1.65bn.

Meanwhile, it has said health spending overall would rise 2.4% to £11.35bn.

JUSTICE

Ministers have promised no cuts to frontline justice services - police funding will actually increase by £6m.

Instead, the department will make "administrative savings" of 1.5%, without affecting initiatives such as the prisons and court building programmes.

EDUCATION

The education budget will be cut by more than £49m, with the biggest reduction in teacher training.

Ministers say local authorities are not replacing retiring teachers as they had done in the past, because of the recession.

However, education spending will see a real terms increase of more than £16m - including an extra £10m for school buildings.

ENVIRONMENT

The environment budget will be cut by £8m - including a £3.2m reduction in spending on private water supplies.

There will also be £2.7m of cuts through efficiency savings across government agencies.

However, the government said there would be an extra £4.5m for farmers in fragile rural areas, increased investment of £7.9m in a new facility for the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and £700,000 more for the Scottish food industry.



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