THE Holyrood finance minister yesterday produced figures showing almost £1bn in new spending, to be channelled to the executive's priorities of health, education, crime, and culture.
The finance minister announced spending increases in the next three years of £148m, £160m and £217m, a total of £525m which came from additional business rates and the windfall from housing stock transfers.
He also revealed that last year's underspend was held to less than £400m, just under 2% of the budget, cash which would be immediately put into this year's budgets of the departments involved.
However, of that new money £358m is to remain unallocated for the time being so that the executive will not give its hand away on negotiations over such issues as the abolition of Skye Bridge tolls, concessionary travel schemes and the Scot-Rail franchise renegotiation.
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Copyright © Ray Shields, 2003.
Most recent revision, 12 September 2003