Scottish Daily Mail



HUMZA Yousaf announced a blizzard of new policies costing up to £1billion in his first speech to his party conference. But he gave no hint as to how the policies would be paid for, leading to fears middle and higher earners will be squeezed with more tax hikes. Scottish Political Editor MICHAEL BLACKLEY assesses the cost of the new policies – and how they are likely to be funded.


ALL 32 councils will freeze council tax next year, for the first time since April 2022. Prior to that, the SNP had frozen it every year since 2007.

The Government has not yet agreed how much it will give to councils to compensate them for the lost revenue.

But it estimates that increasing local tax rates by 3 per cent would have brought in somewhere in the region of £90-£100million.

It has also opted to scrap its proposal to increase rates for band E-H homes by up to 22.5 per cent, a move that would have added up to £835 a year on to the bills of 715,312 households, or 28 per cent of the total number of homeowners.

A spokesman for the First Minister would not be drawn on whether income tax rates would rise for some workers to pay for the policy, and said a decision would not be made until the Budget, due to be published in December.

Local authority umbrella body Cosla also warned the freeze will impact on cash-strapped council budgeting and the move has seen a split with the Greens, who condemned the plan


SCOTLAND’S arts and culture sector is to be handed an additional £100million by 2029. Humza Yousaf yesterday announced investment would more than double over five years. It follows a backlash to the £6.6million cut to Creative Scotland funding. Mr Yousaf said the money would be used to


He also announced that £500million would be spent over five years to support the offshore wind supply chain.


AN additional £100million a year will be given to the NHS over the next three years to tackle waiting lists.

The new funding will aim to reduce the vast 667,7 6 backlog of Scots currently languishin­g on inpatient or outpatient waiting lists by 100,000 by 2026, Mr Yousaf claimed. The backlog significan­tly increased during his time as health secretary.


A NEW ‘Fund to Leave’ domestic abuse pilot will receive £500,000. Women’s aid groups in five council areas will deliver the scheme, with women receiving up to £1,000 to help them escape violent partners.


THE Scottish Government is set to issue bonds for the first time.

It could use the mechanism to borrow money on the internatio­nal markets, up to its limit of £ 50million a year, to fund infrastruc­ture projects.

But the move is largely symbolic and will not result in ministers borrowing more than they currently do.

 ?? ?? help Scotland’s arts grow at home and globally.
help Scotland’s arts grow at home and globally.

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