Scottish Government Budget Proposals

Living Wage Social Care Sector

Additional investment of £107 million from NHS Boards to Integration Authorities to support delivery of the Living Wage for social care workers.


Deliver a Scottish employment service from 1 April 2017 through transitional employment support services for some of the most vulnerable people in society, including disabled people and those with long-term health conditions, ahead of delivering full employment services in April 2018.

Fairer Scotland

As part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, a new Socio-Economic Duty will be placed on public bodies and legislation will be brought forward to set targets to reduce child poverty.

Two complementary programmes – one for third sector and the other for communities activity totalling £29 million in funding, including £12.5 million from the European Social Fund – will look at innovative approaches to combating poverty and tackling inequality locally.

Inclusive Growth

In the forthcoming financial year, £75 million will be spent in regeneration activity to stimulate inclusive economic growth and tackle inequality in disadvantaged communities. This investment will support regeneration projects which respond to local circumstances, and improve the wellbeing of communities.

Priority will be given to tackling inequality and promoting equality by investing £20 million in organisations working to advanced equality in 2017-18. This resource will support the progression of human rights, prevent violence against women and strengthen community engagement.

Income Tax

The Scottish Government is proposing to freeze the basic rate of income tax at 20%. The higher and additional rates will be set at 40% and 45% respectively. The higher rate of income tax threshold is proposed to increase by inflation to £43,430 in 2017-18.

Social Security

As previously outlined, the Social Security Bill will be introduced in 2017. The Scottish Government have also committed to provide advice and advocacy services to ensure people are receiving all the income they are entitled to, and to provide £47 million to continue to mitigate the ‘bedroom tax’ and £38 million for the Scottish Welfare Fund.


With sport and recreation fundamental to the pursuit of preventative health policy, concerns were raised about an 8.3% cut in the sport budget from £45.6 million to £41.8 million.

Care Survivors

The £13.5 million In Care Survivor Support Fund will be available over the next five years with to support the survivors of child abuse in Scotland and the services they rely on. It will offer survivors personalised care and treatment based on their individual needs, aspirations and personal goals.

Local Government

2017-18 total funding package amounting to £10,131.1 billion. This figure includes both the general revenue and capital grant funding, specific revenue and capital grants as well as the Government’s estimate of non-domestic rate income to be collected during 2017-18.

An additional £107 million will be transferred from NHS Boards to Integration Authorities to support continued delivery of the Living Wage, sustainability in the social care sector

Increase the additional resource to be used at the discretion of schools through the Attainment Scotland Fund from £100 million to £120 million in 2017-18, as part of the £750 million investment over the life of the Parliament.

£120 million of additional funding for the Attainment Scotland Fund to be included in the local government settlement. The money is intended to be allocated to individual schools to be utilised at the discretion of headteachers. Schools will be allocated £1,200 for each pupil from P1-S3 known to be eligible for free school meals. This Pupil Equity Funding will be available for head teachers to use for additional staffing or resources that they consider will help raise attainment and reduce the attainment gap.

Apprenticeship Levy

In 2017/18 the new UK Apprenticeship Levy will raise £221 million to support training, skills and employability programmes. This money will be used to expand Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 new starts by 2020 and to tackle structural unemployment issues and challenge inequalities and under-representation in the labour market. This will be done in partnership with employers, local authorities and the third sector.

A new Flexible Workforce Development Fund to help meet the skills needs of the existing workforce.

Energy efficiency

This budget provides over £140 million of investment in energy efficiency measures as a significant first step in delivering our commitment to invest over £500 million in energy efficiency over this Parliamentary term.

Reactions from the Sector

John Downie, SCVO“Despite encouraging rhetoric from the Scottish Government about tackling inequality, protecting human rights and pursuing real community empowerment, this budget is a missed opportunity with a focus on statutory services. The Scottish Government should have directly funded the third sector to help deliver better outcomes, help communities become more resilient and empower citizens to shape and take decisions that affect them. Despite the lack of clarity around Council funding, the reality is this outcome will inevitably lead to a further reduction in funding available to the third sector via local authorities – hampering our ability to pursue more innovative, preventative and effective approaches.”

Heather Noller, Carers Trust Scotland “We are pleased at a commitment to extra investment in social care services, particularly recognising that social care staff deserve a decent living wage, and support for pre-implementation of the new carers’ legislation. However, the investment may not be enough to counteract the huge cuts that have affected social care in recent years. ”

Peter Kelly, Poverty Alliance“It is disappointing that the Scottish Government have decided not to make full use of the tax powers at their disposal. The Scottish Government should give serious consideration as to how we fund local authorities, and this includes looking again at council tax”

Rachel Stewart, Samh “SAMH welcomes the support in the Scottish Budget for an Ask Once, Get Help Fast approach. We note the previously announced £150m for mental health during this Parliament, and that £84.3m of the £150m is already committed to a range of important areas. This leaves £65.7m split over five years, so £13.14m per year to support all of the new activities set out in the forthcoming mental health strategy over the next five years. SAMH thinks that in order to truly create an ask once get help fast approach, additional investment is needed. We are pleased to see a real terms transfer of resources within health towards mental health, primary and community care from acute services; and note that indicative spending on mental health will be at least £1bn next year – this is extremely welcome. However, this needs NHS boards to direct these funds to mental health services accordingly.”

Norman Kerr, Energy Action Scotland: The budget proposed today by the Scottish Government for tackling fuel poverty is largely business as usual. While it must be acknowledged that the Scottish Government does continue to fund programmes to reduce the problem of cold, damp and unaffordable-to-heat homes, more needs to be done to meet their ambition to eradicate this scourge. Progress has been made to date helping the fuel poor but the next year will prove to be a real test of the Scottish Government’s resolve on this matter.”

Morven Brooks, Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF) are pleased with the news that £20Million will be spent to reduce and tackle hate crime and violence against women. However, further work needs to be done to raise awareness of what hate crime is, how it can be recognised and how it can be reported. Awareness needs to be raised not just amongst the public and legal bodies, but the victims themselves. Of course violence against women is a serious issue which must be addressed; however so is hate crime and we hope the budget is spent in equal measures and reflective of the seriousness of both issues. Hate crime should not be overlooked simply because people are less of aware of this than violence against women


Allan Young
Public Affairs Engagement Officer
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations,
Mansfield Traquair Centre,
15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB

Tel: 0131 465 7533

About us

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national body representing the third sector. There are over 45,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland involving around 138,000 paid staff and approximately 1.3 million volunteers. The sector manages an income of £4.9 billion.
SCVO works in partnership with the third sector in Scotland to advance our shared values and interests. We have over 1,600 members who range from individuals and grassroots groups, to Scotland-wide organisations and intermediary bodies.

As the only inclusive representative umbrella organisation for the sector SCVO:

  • has the largest Scotland-wide membership from the sector – our 1,600 members include charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes
  • our governance and membership structures are democratic and accountable – with an elected board and policy committee from the sector, we are managed by the sector, for the sector
  • brings together organisations and networks connecting across the whole of Scotland
  • SCVO works to support people to take voluntary action to help themselves and others, and to bring about social change.

Further details about SCVO can be found at