Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:55 UK

Budget statement

Finance Secretary John Swinney "outlined investment in infrastructure, the green economy, skills and employability of around £250m" in his draft budget statement for 2013-14 on 20 September 2012.

Among the measures Mr Swinney unveiled were :

• £40m of additional spending on affordable housing, starting this year

• £80m on new schools to support the construction sector

• £30m to be spent over three years on a Green Investment Package of energy efficiency measures

• £17m will go towards college education and student support.

The finance secretary said: "In these difficult economic times this government is doing everything within its limited power to stimulate Scotland's economy, to invest in our young people, protect households and support front line services".

Mr Swinney said his budget maintained commitments on tuition fees, a council tax freeze, police numbers, free prescriptions and concessionary travel, as well as protection of the NHS budget.

The minister also announced that pay restraint for public sector workers would be eased with "a modest 1% increase".

There was a cut of almost 16% in the budget for local authorities which Mr Swinney said was mostly down to funding for the new police and fire services being transferred.

Labour's finance spokesperson Ken Macintosh said unemployment was higher than the UK average and Scotland had "sunk into a recession for the second time on his watch" and yet Mr Swinney had delivered his statement without a "hint of an apology".

Mr Macintosh called on the finance secretary to drop his "droopy mantra of it wisnae me and stop passing the buck" and take responsibility for his own actions.

Gavin Brown, the Conservative finance spokesperson said the total Scottish budget was over £34bn, while his budget in his first full year £31.9bn, a rise of more than £2bn yet Mr Swinney "complains of savage cuts".

Mr Brown said the finance secretary had taken out £100m from the housing budget and thinks Scotland should be grateful for putting £40m back and that he had taken £50m out of the college sector and it should be grateful for £17m back.

In his statement, Mr Swinney had said: "The settlement we received in the UK Spending Review is the toughest since devolution.

"Over a four year period between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the Scottish Government budget is being cut by more than 11% in real terms and, within that, our capital budget is being reduced by a third."

Willie Rennie the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats accused the minister of producing a "timid budget" and called for Scottish Water reform to release up to £1.5bn.


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