Scotland’s draft budget fails to tackle challenge of Covid, say critics



Libby Brooks | The Guardian

The Scottish government’s draft budget “bakes in inequality”, according to campaigners and opposition parties who say the measures announced on Thursday fail to use available powers to meet the economic challenges of Covid.

With no change to income tax rates and a council tax freeze, both of which benefit wealthier households, unions described the public sector pay offer as “a slap in the face” for those who had worked on the frontline through the pandemic.

Setting out her draft budget to MSPs on Thursday afternoon, Scotland’s finance secretary, Kate Forbes, said she would mitigate the UK government’s “ill-judged” public sector pay freeze, announcing a 3% increase for those on salaries up to £25,000, and a 1% increase for those on higher incomes.

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