UNISON statement on Scottish budget

Mike Kirby
Mike Kirby

The Scottish government has secured a deal with the Greens to pass its budget proposals ahead of a Holyrood vote.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay had been in negotiations with opposition leaders to find backing for his plans, which include changes to the tax system.

The deal with the Greens will see an additional £170m going to local councils. And proposals to raise public sector pay will cover 75% of workers rather than 51%.

The agreement means all public sector employees earning up to £36,500 will now receive a minimum 3% pay increase – which Mr Mackay said would cover 80% of NHS staff and the majority of teachers.

UNISON comment on the Scottish Rate of Income Tax & the Budget:

Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary said: “We acknowledge the more progressive tax proposal which should benefit public services, although we wait to see how this will feed through to public service workers whose real pay has been cut substantially over the past decade. Public sector pay rose by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016 while the cost of living rose by 22%. And while we welcome any additional money for hard hit local government it falls far short of maintaining vital levels of services.

“We also note some alternative proposals for additional revenue raising powers, however, we note also that councils seem reluctant to use these powers, for example, increasing council tax when possible, rather than increase charges for certain services.”

Mike J Kirby
Scottish Secretary