Following the passing of the Scottish Budget Bill by MSPs tonight, Linda Fabiani MSP has said that the particular focus that the Scottish Government has put on the role of the voluntary sector and small businesses in creating jobs and growing the economy is good news for East Kilbride.

Finance Secretary John Swinney announced in the Chamber today that the Scottish Government would be working with voluntary sector organisations across Scotland to generate job creation and training ideas, including for people who have been made redundant.

The SNP’s Budget also contained a new £10 million fund to support the creation of jobs in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and a continuation and upgrading of the Small Business Bonus, which has abolished or slashed rates for thousands of firms.

SNP MSP Linda, who is a member of Holyrood’s Finance Committee, said:

“The budget passed by MSPs today is a fantastic achievement by Finance Secretary John Swinney.  Despite a context of severe public spending cuts handed down by Westminster, he has delivered a budget that protects key pledges like the abolition of prescription charges as well as acting to drive economic recovery and growth.

“There were a couple of announcements that I believe hold particular potential for creating jobs and growing our local economy in East Kilbride. One is the new £10 million ‘small business – big job’ fund and the other is the job creation partnership with Scotland’s voluntary sector.

“East Kilbride is particularly well placed to take advantage of these exciting developments. We have an extremely vibrant voluntary sector providing a wide range of services to our local population. It is bursting with energy and ideas that can be harnessed to help grow East Kilbride’s economy.

“So too is the town’s successful SME sector, which has a strong record in job creation. Our small businesses are in a great position to exploit the ‘small business – big job’ fund in a way that can have long term economic benefits for East Kilbride.

“East Kilbride is blessed with the talent and energy to take full advantage of the opportunities that the SNP government has provided with these new funds and partnerships to create sustainable jobs and grow our economy in the long-term. Not only do we have the potential to derive significant local benefit – East Kilbride’s voluntary and SME sectors also have what it takes to lead the way for the rest of Scotland.”

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