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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid)

Meeting date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021


Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 3

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is stage 3 proceedings on the Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill. In dealing with the amendments, members should have with them the bill as amended, the marshalled list and the grouping of amendments. If there is a division this afternoon, I will suspend proceedings for five minutes to call members to the chamber and allow all members to access the voting app. I encourage any member who wishes to speak on any of the amendments to press their request-to-speak button as soon as I call the first group.

Section 4—Overall cash authorisations

The Presiding Officer

All the amendments are in one group, on Scottish Administration: allocation of resources. Amendment 1, in the name of the cabinet secretary, is grouped with amendments 2 to 7. I call Kate Forbes to move amendment 1 and speak to all the amendments in the group.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance (Kate Forbes)

I am pleased to advise that all seven amendments that I am moving today relate to a successful, cross-party approach that reflects agreement with both the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Amendment 1 increases the overall cash authorisation for the Scottish Administration by £142 million, which reflects the respective portfolio amendments in this group.

Amendment 2 increases the education and skills authorisation by £69.75 million of resource, which comprises £49.75 million for the phased roll-out of free school meals and £20 million for a pupil equity fund premium for next year.

Amendment 3 increases the transport infrastructure and connectivity authorisation by £42.25 million—£17.25 million of resource for additional funding to extend the concessionary fares scheme beyond the under-19s to the under-22s, and £25 million of capital, which comprises £15 million for active travel and £10 million for energy efficiency.

Amendment 4 increases the environment, climate change and land reform authorisation by £10 million of capital for a nature restoration fund.

Amendment 5 increases the rural economy and tourism authorisation by £5 million of capital for agri-environment support.

Amendment 6 increases the economy, fair work and culture authorisation by £15 million for skills and training specifically in the north-east.


Amendment 7 increases the overall total amount of resources for the Scottish Administration by £142 million. That includes £102 million of resource and £40 million of capital. Again, that reflects the respective portfolio amendments in this group.

I move amendment 1.

The Presiding Officer

I do not believe that any other member wishes to speak on the amendments; I think that members are saving their comments for the debate.

Amendment 1 agreed to.

Schedule 1—The Scottish Administration

Amendments 2 to 7 moved—[Kate Forbes]—and agreed to.

The Presiding Officer

As members will be aware, at this point in the proceedings, I am required under standing orders to decide whether, in my view, any provision of the bill relates to a protected subject matter—that is, whether it modifies the electoral system and franchise for Scottish parliamentary elections. In my view, the Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill does no such thing, so it does not require a supermajority to be passed at stage 3.