Scotland net zero budget
Scottish Finance Minister Kate Forbes - Image credit: Stock

Investing in Scotland’s contribution to climate change is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead according to the country’s 2020-21 budget.

Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced a £1.8 billion budget to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy.

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She also announced a budget of £151 million in energy efficiency projects.

The Scottish Budget 2020-21 also proposes:

  • £220 million of seed funding for the Scottish National Investment Bank to support its mission to drive the transition to a net-zero economy
  • A new £120 million Heat Transition Deal
  • increased investment of £270 million in rail services and an additional £16 million in concessionary travel and bus services, taking total investment in rail and bus services to around £1.55 billion

Ms Forbes said: “The global climate emergency is at the center of our Programme for Government and we have already put in place the most ambitious climate legislation and targets of any country. This Budget will help deliver on that world-leading ambition.”

“From increased investment in low carbon transport to funding for peatland restoration and forestry, this Budget sets out our spending plans to help us deliver the transformation we need across society to transition to net-zero.

“We have also put wellbeing firmly at the heart of this Budget to benefit as many people as possible across the country. We will do this through prioritising inclusive economic growth with the creation of high-quality jobs, supporting our public services and tackling inequalities head-on.

“We estimate that we are investing at least £1.4 billion to support low-income households, mitigating the worst effects of the UK Government’s benefit cuts which are hitting the poorest in society and our Scottish Child Payment will help lift 30,000 children out of poverty when it is fully rolled out in 2022.

“I urge the Parliament to work constructively with us to pass this Budget in the national interest.”