Budget focused on training, skills and business support.
Capitalizing on the opportunities created by the green economy while strengthening the recovery from the pandemic in Scotland is a major goal of the Scottish budget 2022-2023.
An additional Â£ 68.3million is allocated for employability and training to help companies tackle skills shortages and create sustainable, high-quality jobs. This brings total spending in this area to over Â£ 124million and targets all sectors and social groups, including those currently furthest from employment, so that everyone and every region can benefit from the economic transformation. of Scotland.
To accelerate the potential of digital technology, Â£ 192million is allocated to improve connectivity and boost the digital economy. That’s Â£ 48million more than in 2021/22 and includes specific support for small and medium-sized businesses.
The spending plans also continue the Scottish Government’s non-domestic rate relief program. This will save taxpayers over Â£ 800million and includes the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which in total removes over 111,000 properties from tariffs and is the most generous relief of its kind in the UK.
In 2021/2022, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses received 100% tariff relief, meaning they pay nothing until April 2022, while equivalent businesses in England started paying their tariffs last July. From April there will be continued tariff relief for these sectors to 50% until July 2022, capped at Â£ 27,500 per taxpayer. Additionally, Scotland continues to offer the UK’s lowest rates.
Other budgetary funding for 2022/23 includes:
- Â£ 215 million for the Scottish National Investment Bank to enable it to invest in existing and emerging sustainable businesses
- Â£ 370.5million for Scottish corporate agencies, up from Â£ 340million in 2021/22
- Â£ 20million as first allocation to the Just Transition Fund of Â£ 500million over 10 years for the North East and Moray
- Â£ 49.2million for VisitScotland, bringing its base budget back to pre-Covid levels and reflecting its important role in promoting Scotland and supporting the tourism sector
- Â£ 225m for Skills Development Scotland to support a range of national training interventions
Economic Secretary Kate Forbes said:
âThe budget provides a package of economic support while looking to the future by helping businesses take advantage of new technologies, retrain their employees and secure the funding needed to develop innovative products and enter new markets. We are investing to equip people with the skills to secure high-quality jobs as we accelerate our recovery from the pandemic and create a more prosperous, fairer and greener economy.
âIt provides a solid platform for the 10-year national strategy for economic transformation, which will be released shortly and will set out a long-term approach to invest in innovation, encourage entrepreneurship and support current businesses and markets and emerging.
âWe are all too aware of the impact COVID-19 has had – and continues to have – on our businesses and the Scottish economy. The emergence of the new Omicron variant and the speed at which it is spreading brings even more uncertainty.
âThis budget aims to provide as much support and stability as possible, but as the UK government has stopped providing additional funds for COVID-19, it does not go as far as we would like to provide assistance to businesses. We have urged the UK government to provide funding certainty and will continue to be a strong advocate for this issue as we monitor the new variant. “
Scottish Budget 2022/23 invests Â£ 635million in Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish National Investment Bank and VisitScotland to support economic recovery and transformation.
It includes an additional Â£ 45million to support the Youth Guarantee (YPG) targeting youth employment support through new and improved employment and training opportunities. Since the start of the pandemic, the Scottish government has invested Â£ 130million in the YPGs.
The budget also invests over Â£ 40million in employability services for all ages through the No One Left Behind approach. Almost Â£ 24million is spent on delivering Fair Start Scotland, providing person-centered support to people further out of the workforce, including people with disabilities, people with long-term health conditions and ethnic minority communities.