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Scottish National Party reaches deal with Greens and Lib Dems over budget

The budget deal is a major victory for Scotland's Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

The Scottish government has struck separate deals with the Green party and the Liberal Democrats to ratify its budget in the Scottish Parliament (popularly referred to as Holyrood).

The agreement between the Scottish National Party (SNP – which runs the Scottish government) and the Green Party will see the introduction of free school meals for all primary school pupils by August 2022, free bus travel for all under-22s, £15 million for active travel and £10 million for energy efficiency projects.

Meanwhile, a separate agreement between the SNP and the Scottish Liberal Democrats will secure an extra £120 million for new community mental health services, £15 million of support for staff retraining and economic recovery in the north east (where the oil and gas sector is concentrated), in addition to “fair funding” for ferries in Orkney and Shetland.

Praising the deal, Scottish Lib Dems leader, Willie Rennie, asserted: "These proposals show the impact that Liberal Democrat MSPs [Members of Scottish Parliament] can make, balancing important national matters with targeted local support for our constituents and putting the recovery [from the Covid-19 pandemic] first".

Barely two days ago, Rennie was setting out an election strategy to unseat the SNP, so it remains to be seen if the budget deal softens his approach towards Scotland’s ruling party.

For her part, Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, said the newly agreed deals with the Greens and the Lib Dems could facilitate a “fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland”.





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