STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“Whilst it is always important to acknowledge the impact of UK austerity on the Scottish Budget, we are once more disappointed at the outcome.
“Local government has been hit hard again and the budget does not contain the kind of transformational measures required to make a real dent in poverty or to tackle inequality.
“We welcome the freezing of the higher rate tax threshold but much more is needed on redistributive taxation if the well-being economy is to be achieved.
“We also welcome the commitment to provide free bus travel for under 19s. This will undoubtedly benefit many young, precarious workers but this needs to be extended to all commuters, especially at a time when we need to be reducing car use and emissions.
“We reiterate our welcome for the fact that government has listened to unions and extended the 3% pay increase to those earning over £40k per year, however we are a long way short of the much-needed restoration on public service pay to pre-austerity levels.
“The budget does not adequately face up to the investment levels required to tackle the climate emergency or the jobs emergency in the renewables supply chain.
“Later this year the STUC will launch its manifesto demands for the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections. We will be looking for far more ambition in the face of the poverty, inequality and climate crises we face.”
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, on 07891026870 or Rachel Thomson, Campaigns & Communications Officer, on 07974966227.