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Douglas Ross welcomes ‘outstanding’ UK Budget for Scotland

Douglas Ross has welcomed an “outstanding” UK Budget for Scotland that delivers the biggest block grant since devolution to protect jobs and public services.

The UK Government Budget, delivered today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, includes an increase of £4.6 billion for the Scottish Budget next year.

Rishi Sunak also announced £150 million for Scottish businesses through the British Business Bank, and the UK Conservative Government has also frozen fuel duty for the 11th year in a row.

Scotland’s whisky industry has also received a boost, with spirit duty frozen again.

In addition, the UK Government will directly invest in several major infrastructure and transport projects across Scotland, as part of the Levelling Up Fund, including:

  • £20 million for the zero-carbon regeneration of Inverness castle, Bught Park Stadium, and other Inverness attractions
  • £13 million to restore Glasgow’s Pollok Park Stables and Sawmill into a community and heritage centre
  • £20 million for improvements to Falkirk Westfield roundabout
  • £24 million to upgrade the B714 route between North Ayrshire and Glasgow
  • £39 million to improve travel links between Paisley and Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS)
  • £20 million for Aberdeen City Centre regeneration Master Plan
  • £16 million to restore and reopen the listed Granton Gas Holder, in Edinburgh

Rishi Sunak also announced funding to help bring the men’s football World Cup and women’s Rugby World Cup to the UK. There was also extra funding announced for Glasgow’s historic Burrell Collection and Scotland’s first e-car rally.

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “This UK Budget is outstanding news for jobs and public services in Scotland.

“The strength and security of the United Kingdom has helped us through the pandemic, and the announcement of the biggest block grant since devolution will ensure Scottish public services are protected going forward.

“Rishi Sunak’s world-leading furlough scheme saved a million Scottish jobs throughout the pandemic and the new £150 million of funding for small Scottish businesses will keep our economic recovery from Covid on track.

“The extra cash to help bring major sporting events to the UK is very welcome, particularly the extra funding to help bring the football World Cup home, and we’ll be stepping up our efforts to try and bring the final to Glasgow if the UK bid is successful.

“This is a Budget that delivers for working people in Scotland by focusing on protecting jobs, providing essential extra funding of £4.6 billion for public services, and freezing fuel duty to help drivers up and down the country.

“The spirit duty freeze will provide an enormous boost to Scotland’s thriving whisky industry. Whisky is not just an iconic Scottish brand but a vital employer and crucial part of the local economy in rural communities like my own constituency of Moray.

“While the SNP have taken powers from local areas over the last 14 years, the UK Government is empowering communities by investing directly in innovative infrastructure and regeneration projects across Scotland.

“Rishi Sunak’s Budget will build a stronger economy for communities across Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.”