Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has said the SNP Government’s Council Tax freeze will provide financial relief to thousands of local households during tough times.
Last month, Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, announced a £90 million fund to compensate local authorities who choose to scrap planned rises in Council Tax.
Now, Colin Beattie has called on the local council to make use of the fund and freeze their rates at current levels for the next year – which would mean that Midlothian Council would receive £1.66 million and East Lothian Council would receive £1.95 million of support.
Under the draft budget plans, a majority of taxpayers will also continue to pay less income tax than they would in the rest of the UK.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“We all know the financial impact that this global pandemic has had in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“So it’s great news that this SNP Government has sought to provide relief to households by supporting local authorities to freeze increases in Council Tax for the coming year.
“If Midlothian and East Lothian councils choose to do the right thing and freeze their rates, they will be fully-supported to the tune of £1.66 million for Midlothian Council and £1.95 million for East Lothian Council. It’s time they gave local residents that assurance.
“In these tough times, the SNP Government has proven that where Scotland has the powers, we will take a different approach to give Scots the fairest deal in the UK.”
DIRECT INVESTMENT TO INCREASE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN
Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has welcomed direct investment in mental health services in the Scottish Budget, which will increase by £139 million and take overall spending in mental health to over £1.1 billion.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes confirmed that the Scottish Government will be making £15 million available to support the continued establishment of local mental health services.
An additional £500,000 will also be made available to health boards this financial year to provide dedicated mental health support for health and social care staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Samaritans said they "welcome the recognition by the Scottish Government of the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland's mental health and wellbeing in today's Scottish Budget. We are pleased to see this recognition matched with an increase in direct investment in mental health services."
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“This Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on many people’s mental health - and it’s welcome that the Scottish Government has recognised this and committed to investing over £1.1billion into mental health services.
“Lockdown restrictions, although vital for stopping the spread of the virus, have themselves had a negative impact on many people’s health and wellbeing, with more people experiencing financial insecurity alongside social isolation and the anxiety of living through a pandemic.
“As such, mental health support is an absolute priority for this SNP Government, and this Budget supports overall mental health spending of more than £1.1 billion, which will contribute hugely to our recovery from the pandemic in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“This is a significant step forward in the SNP government’s package of measures to improve the mental health support available for children, young people and adults across Scotland.”
Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie has welcomed SNP Government support totalling £1.8 billion towards Scotland’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a range of measures across a number of sectors, including an extension of business rates relief for a further three months to allow firms to recover from a tough year.
The SNP Government has also committed £100 million to the Green Jobs Fund which will stimulate businesses that produce low carbon products.
The SNP Government is also supporting people back into employment by investing £125 million in the Young Person’s Guarantee and giving £27 million to Fair Start Scotland.
Commenting SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“It was vital that the Scottish Budget prioritised Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 and I am delighted to see a range of measures that will help support people and businesses across Midlothian and East Lothian.
“Businesses have faced an incredibly tough year and so the business rates relief extension will be welcomed, but we need a commitment from Westminster to continue to fund this, so it can be extended even further and I urge other local politicians to urge the Chancellor to commit to that in his March Budget.
“I have heard from many people in Midlothian and East Lothian who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The SNP Government has committed millions to not only ensuring people can find work, but existing jobs are also supported by invested £100 million in supporting jobs.
“I welcome these budget announcements and I would urge all local politicians to get behind the budget commitments to ensure Scotland recovers from the devastation of the pandemic.”
SNP Constituency MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed SNP Scottish Government support for projects in Midlothian and East Lothian through a billion-pound cash injection.
Transport and Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson announced the £33billion investment which will support 45,000 jobs across Scotland over a five-year period.
Amongst the projects that will be provided with a cash injection are the investments in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and the projects at Wallyford High School and Whitecraig Primary School. The investment will support infrastructure projects across healthcare, education and transport around Scotland.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“I am delighted the Scottish Government has provided a cash-boost for vital infrastructure projects in Midlothian and East Lothian such as the investment in Wallyford High School and Whitecraig Primary School, and the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal which will include the much needed upgrades to the Sheriffhall Roundabout.
“It is also encouraging that - despite the uncertainty caused by Westminster cuts and the Covid-19 crisis - the SNP Scottish Government has increased the funding for projects by £2bn.
“Not only will this investment support vital projects in the area, but it will also secure thousands of jobs which will be crucial in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I look forward to seeing the impact this funding will have on the local community over the five-year period.”
Local Constituency MSP, Colin Beattie, has given his backing to plans that will hand the Scottish Police Authority £1.3 billion for the coming financial year.
Announcing the SNP’s draft budget proposals for 2021/22 in Holyrood last week, Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, outlined the funding which includes a £60 million budget increase for the Police service.
A further £15m in 2021-22 only, will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the policing budget.
The SNP has surpassed its target to ensure a real terms protection to the Police budget and deliver a £100 million boost by 2021.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) resource budget will also increase by £8.7m.
Commenting, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie said:
“Scotland is a safer under the SNP, with crime at its second lowest levels since 1974.
“In the middle of a global pandemic, protecting our vital frontline emergency services is more important than ever.
“The police and fire service provide our communities here in Midlothian and East Lothian with invaluable support, so it’s great news to see they will be handed a funding boost by the SNP Government.
“I will be proud to stand on the SNP’s record of keeping our communities safe at the upcoming Holyrood election in May.”
Welcoming the announcement last week, David Crichton, Interim Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said:
"The Authority very much welcomes today’s draft budget statement.
“We have said consistently that the financial sustainability of policing depends upon addressing a persistent structural deficit. The additional £60 million in revenue funding announced today achieves that.
“It represents a strong vote of confidence in the Authority and Police Scotland and particularly recognises the outstanding performance of the police service in protecting the country’s safety and wellbeing during the pandemic.”
SNP COMMITTED TO TACKLING POVERTY WHILE TORIES DUCK RESPONSIBILITIES
Colin Beattie, Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has called on local politicians from all parties to get behind historic funding to continue the delivery of a social security system which places fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.
SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has committed a £3.5billion allocation for benefit spend in the next year – including £68 million to deliver the “game-changing” Scottish Child Payment, which is forecast to benefit 163,000 eligible children under 6 in 2021-22.
This budget will support Social Security Scotland’s delivery of the new Child Disability Payment for the families of children with disabilities and long-term health conditions.
The SNP Government will also invest £41 million in the Scottish Welfare Fund - which will enable local authorities to continue to support the most vulnerable people in our communities and help mitigate the additional impact of COVID-19.
SNP MSP, Colin Beattie said:
“The SNP’s plan to commit £3.5 billion to social security is central to our commitment to tackling poverty and creating a social security system with fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.
“This will put money directly into the pockets of people in Midlothian and East Lothian who need it most - including through the ‘game-changing' Scottish Child Payment which will ease the struggle some families are facing due to the Covid-19 crisis and will tackle child poverty across Scotland.
“Tory cuts are driving too many families into poverty – but the SNP is determined to use every power at our disposal to help families make ends meet.
“MSPs across Lothian should now get behind these budget proposals, and secure substantial funding to support the most vulnerable people in our communities and help mitigate the damaging impact of Covid-19.”
APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL AGE PAYMENT CLOSE ON 28TH FEBRUARY
Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie has encouraged eligible families in Midlothian and East Lothian to apply for the SNP Government’s School Age Payment before applications close on the 28th of February.
Parents who have deferred their child’s entry to school from August 2020 to August 2021, or those home schooling, must still apply before the 28th February closing date or they will lose out on their payment.
The payment is part of the SNP Government’s Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families who get tax credits or certain benefits – including Universal Credit, Income Support and Housing Benefit - to help at key stages in a child’s life.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“As we approach the application deadline for the School Age Payment, I want to encourage eligible families in Midlothian and East Lothian who have not yet applied to get their applications in before the end of the month.
“Additionally, parents who weren’t eligible when the payment opened in June but whose circumstances have changed may now be eligible for this money - which can be used for things like clothes and home-schooling materials, or anything else you need for your child.
“Eligible people can also apply for the new Scottish Child Payment at the same time - this is an extra £40 every 4 weeks for children under 6.
“The SNP is absolutely determined that every child, regardless of circumstances, gets the best start in life, and we’re committed to ensuring families in Midlothian and East Lothian receive all the money they are entitled to.”
CONSTITUENCY MSP, COLIN BEATTIE, BACKS INCREASED SUPPORT FOR VITAL LOCAL SERVICES
Local Constituency MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has backed draft budget proposals that commit £183.7 million for Midlothian Council and £194.7 million for East Lothian Council in 2021/22.
Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced this week that the SNP Government will hand Midlothian Council an additional £4.8 million on last year’s spending – an increase of 2.7%, and will provide East Lothian Council with an additional £5.5 million – an increase of 2.9%. The plans will provide the council with an increase in day-to-day revenue spending.
£90 million has also been set aside to scrap rises in Council Tax and compensate local authorities who had planned to increase charges by up to 3% - allowing hard-pressed householders to keep more of their money to spend on other essentials.
Across Scotland, councils are set to receive £11.6 billion, with £259 million added in one-off funding to support ongoing COVID-19 pressures on local services.
Welcoming the announcement, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“In these uncertain and challenging times, the SNP Government has offered stability with a budget that protects vital local services and supports our economy.
“Local council workers have been working around the clock during this pandemic to keep Midlothian and East Lothian moving and ensure essential services continue to operate.
“So it’s great news that Midlothian Council is set to receive a funding boost of £4.8 million and East Lothian Council will receive a funding boost of £5.5 million for the coming financial year.
“In these tough times, I know that local residents will also be delighted that the SNP Government has taken the significant step of supporting local authorities to introduce a freeze on Council Tax bills.
“I’ll be backing these draft budget proposals to secure this cash for Midlothian and East Lothian.”
SNP BUDGET TO GIVE NHS LOTHIAN £29.4 MILLION BOOST
Local Constituency MSP Colin Beattie has urged politicians to get behind the SNP’s draft budget proposals that commits a record £16 billion for health and care services.
Last week, Scotland’s Finance Secretary announced an additional £800 million was to be injected into the NHS to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the plans, NHS Lothian is set to receive a cash boost of £29.4million against last year’s budget.
The SNP Government also announced an extra £1.1billion being invested in mental health in the coming year and renewed its commitment to tackling drugs and alcohol by providing £145 million to services.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“Against the backdrop of this global pandemic and a Tory Brexit that we didn’t vote for, the SNP Government is investing record amounts in our NHS in its time of need.
“If it was not for the hard work and dedication of our local health and social care staff we would not have been able to get through this pandemic. We’ve recognised this with the £500 thank you bonus for staff and it is absolutely right that services are supported properly too.
“For the first time ever, this budget provides funding of £16 billion for Scotland’s health and care services – with an increase of £29.4million for NHS Lothian’s budget.
“That’s why I’m calling on politicians across Lothian to get behind the SNP Government’s plans that will ensure our NHS is fit for the future.”
SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITIES, JOBS, BUSINESSES AND COVID-19 RECOVERY
MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has welcomed the SNP Government’s ambitious draft budget - which includes record funding of £16 billion for our health and social care service - and urged MSPs from all parties to support it.
Today, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced her budget, which focuses on three key guiding principles - a national mission for new, good, and green jobs; promotion of lifelong health and wellbeing and driving equality and helping our young people to grasp achieve their potential.
Ms Forbes announced record funding of over £16 billion for our NHS and social care sector, £3.5 billion for social security and welfare payments, and investment of £2.7 billion in education and skills - with total investment increasing by £3.8 billion.
MSPs will vote on the draft budget proposals next month.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“This budget has been delivered in exceptional circumstances as we continue to battle a global pandemic and face the harmful impacts of a Tory Brexit we didn’t vote for.
“Since the start of this crisis, the SNP Government has responded quickly and decisively to tackle the continued threats of the virus, while doing all it can to secure social and economic recovery.
“I’m glad to see this continued commitment to investing in jobs and education, resourcing public services for the challenges ahead - with record funding for our health and social care sector - and supporting households at a time of real uncertainty.
“I sincerely hope that MSPs from all political parties will back this Budget, which will support Midlothian and East Lothian’s recovery from this Covid-19 crisis and help us build a fairer, stronger, greener country.”
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