Fair taxation and fair spending
Our proposals for education are paid for from the Penny for Education.
Our proposals for mental health and primary care will use the growth from health funding within the Scottish Block to increase the share of spending on these two services. This will reduce the pressures on those other parts of the health service.
Our investment programme for socially rented housing will continue to develop innovative ways of levering new
money into social housing, in particular by taking steps to increase the investment by local authority pension funds.
Our proposals for warm homes, and support for businesses on renewable heat and energy efficiency will use the Fit For The Future Investment Fund drawn largely from the increased borrowing powers under the Scotland Act.
We will use a review of the Infrastructure Investment Plan project pipeline, together with joint work with Network Rail on their RAB investment programme, to advance our priorities for rail infrastructure investment to the North East and Highlands and in active travel.
We will use the flexibilities in the Scottish Government’s non-cash RAB account to raise the threshold for student loan repayment to £21,000.
We are also concerned at the persistent underspending of the Scottish Government’s budget. We will institute a more robust procedure for parliamentary scrutiny of the Budget prior to the spring and autumn budget revisions to ensure that emerging underspends are redeployed onto other projects that are waiting for the green light.
These plans for more robust action to prevent underspends will be targeted to generate an additional £100 million of spending power every year.
This will be used for priorities including enhancing the budget of Police Scotland by £20 million in addition to maintaining the rest of its funding in real terms, increasing support for addiction services, and adding to the Fit For The Future Investment Fund.
Our Help To Renovate loans will come from the special financial transaction consequentials in the Scottish budget.
We will roll the £70 million previously retained by the Scottish Government for the council tax freeze into the main local government settlement.
Our commitments on the new social security powers will be funded through the spending review.
We will retain Air Passenger Duty, recognising that it helps make sure aviation is taxed in the same way as other forms of transport and can help fund green initiatives.
We do not propose any substantive change to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. This is a new tax and should have the chance to become established.