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Scottish government targets construction in £3.4bn funding boost

The Scottish government has allocated additional funding for colleges, road maintenance and housing through a £3.4 billion spending package this year.

The government is specifically targeting new jobs in construction through additional spending to last year’s draft budget.

New budget announcements include:

  • An increase in funding for colleges of £61 million over the spending review period, compared with numbers outlined in the draft budget statement.
  • An additional £38m for the housing budget, increasing funding for energy efficiency of homes to contribute to climate change targets, and more affordable housing. It brings the total housing supply funding to £859m, enough to exceed our housing target of 30,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament.
  • £2m to bring vacant town centre properties into residential use.
  • An additional £10m for trunk road maintenance to be used to deliver essential road and bridge repair works identified as part of Transport Scotland’s detailed inspection programmes.

Addressing the parliament, finance secretary John Swinney said: “Within the constraints of devolution our budget prioritises construction, skills, employment and a green economic stimulus. We have taken steps to mitigate the damage being done by Westminster welfare reforms and to make sure our public services are fit for the future.”

He added: “This government is using every available opportunity to boost economic growth. An additional £38m for housing will take our investment in new affordable housing to £830m, and will also see increased investment in housing energy efficiency to help to tackle fuel poverty and meet our carbon emission targets.

“Through immediate infrastructure investment we are providing a boost to Scotland’s construction sector and wider economy and we are also maintaining the most supportive business environment in the UK.”

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