Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will present his first budget to Holyrood later today, when the Scottish Government can employ its new powers over income tax for the first time.
He seemed in relaxed mood yesterday when touring the new ly completed first phase of the Royal Edinburgh hospital in Morningside.
Mr Mackay toured the new £48 million mental health facility which includes accommodation for the adult acute mental health inpatient service, older people’s mental health assessment, Intensive Psychiatric Care Service (IPCU) and the new Robert Fergusson national brain injury unit.
He believes that the government’s financial plans will support the economy, tackle inequality and provide high quality public services.
Speaking ahead of publishing his first budget, Mr Mackay said:
“This is a historic budget, delivered in challenging economic and political times. The UK Government’s Autumn Statement was a missed opportunity to end austerity. It did not go far enough to get the economy back on track and lacked much needed investment in public services.
“Despite these challenges, the proposals I will publish later today will be a budget for our economy and public services, our environment and communities. It will support stability and growth, help tackle climate change and promote fairness in our society.
“I look forward to publishing my first budget later today.”