Agreement has been reached with the Scottish Green Party to ensure passage of the Scottish Government’s budget through parliament.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has struck a deal which guarantees the Budget Bill can clear its final stages.
Talks are continuing ahead of tomorrow’s Stage 3 debate with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, which voted for the budget at Stage 1 in exchange for increased spending on mental health, business support and education recovery.
The new commitments build on the budget’s existing measures to address the challenges of the ongoing pandemic and lay the foundations for recovery.
These include meeting the main ask of business by extending 100% rates relief for the retail, hospitality, leisure, aviation and newspaper sectors for a further 12 months, allocating money for a council tax freeze and providing £16bn to the NHS.
The new initiatives will be funded mainly from the unallocated balance of funding from last