What time is the Scottish budget today? What tax changes could Shona Robison announce?

Finance secretary Shona Robison will stand to deliver her first Scottish Budget on Tuesday – and it couldn’t come in more difficult circumstances

It is a Scottish Budget that is being delivered against what has been described as one of the most challenging financial backdrops in the history of Scottish devolution.

But when exactly will we know what is in the Scottish Budget – and what cuts have had to be made?

When will the Scottish Budget be announced?

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A statement on the Scottish Budget is due to be delivered by finance secretary Shona Robison about 2.20pm on Tuesday.

The statement will follow immediately after topical questions at the Scottish Parliament.

The Budget statement can be watched live here on Scottish Parliament TV.

What changes will be announced in the Scottish Budget?

What we do know is that Ms Robison should confirm the council tax freeze for next year is going ahead, as first announced by Humza Yousaf at this year’s SNP party conference in Aberdeen in October.

It has also been widely reported that a new tax band for higher earners will be introduced by the Scottish Government. The suggestion is that a new 44p tax rate for those earning between £75,000 and £125,140 will be brought in – a plan first mooted by the Scottish Trades Union Congress. The finer details, however, could vary.

Elsewhere, the focus will be on the detail of the Budget, with it widely trailed that widespread cuts will be required to deal with a £1.5 billion funding gap facing the government.

It has already been revealed that a £30 million cut to mental health services in Scotland is planned. The spending reduction was mentioned in a letter to a Holyrood committee from Ms Robison about in-year budget changes last month, sparking criticism that SNP ministers were “sneaking out” the decision.

The Scotsman also exclusively reported last week that NatureScot – the body in charge of protecting Scotland’s nature heritage – expected to have its budget slashed by 15 per cent, amounting to about £9 million a year.

What have groups asked for from the Scottish Budget?

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All manner of things, but, in short, more funding. Business and hospitality groups particularly want a commitment on business rates relief.

The Save Scottish Hospitality campaign has called for an emergency 75 per cent business rates relief to be introduced to ease the pressure facing the sector. The UK Government recently extended its 75 per cent business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure firms in England until 2025.

Creative Scotland has also demanded that a previous commitment for a £100m uplift in funding is delivered in the Budget.



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