Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride, has welcomed the priorities set out by the Scottish Government during Stage 1 budget debate.

“The Scottish Government has delivered good budgets for the nation since coming to power in 2007 and I am confident this year’s budget will continue this trend.

“In particular, I welcome the continuation of the Council Tax freeze, which really helps families to make ends meet during these tough times. This is just one way in which our Scottish Government is helping the people of Scotland.

“We are investing in the future of the country by delivering 25,000 modern apprenticeships and funding programmes through ‘Opportunities for All’ which guarantees training and learning opportunities for all 16-19 year olds in Scotland.

“We know the NHS is a priority to the people and for this reason we have ring-fenced spending on our health service.

“In times of global financial crisis and unprecedented cuts to the Scottish budget from Westminster, the SNP are working hard to support the People of Scotland.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney said “The Scottish Government is using every lever currently available to us to secure new investment and create and safeguard jobs – just this week we established new Enterprise Areas in Scotland to target our investment where it will be most effective.

“Our strategy will be further enhanced by a special session of the National Economic Forum dedicated to tackling youth unemployment.

“Our focus is clear, and if opposition parties come forward with ideas that match our priorities of supporting employment and economic growth, I will consider them. But I also expect parties to tell Parliament how those proposals will be funded.”

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