Investing in communities to support growth
Despite the economic challenges, we have been working to create jobs and protect family budgets. Over these four years:
We have frozen council tax for the past 5 years, saving the average family more than £300.
We’ve slashed or abolished business rates for around 80,000 small shops and local employers, protecting jobs in tough times and matched the English business rates poundage, giving Scottish business a £200 million competitive advantage.
The approval we’ve given for a desperately needed new Forth Road Bridge will ease congestion, cut journey times, boost business and create 3,000 new jobs. We’ve also funded improvements to major roads across the country including the M8, the M80, M74 and the A9.
We’ve found an extra £2.3 billion for jobs and public services by cutting back on waste and bureaucracy in Government, breaking the target of 1.5% efficiency savings.
We’ve helped tourism and the local economy in the Western Isles through a pilot scheme to reduce ferry fares and provided valuable funding to secure the Dundee V&A, the new Bannockburn visitor centre, and the creation of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire.
We’ve ensured that four out of five contracts for work in the public sector go to small businesses and our Scottish Investment Fund helps some of the best grassroots business projects get up and running.
And, we’ve started 24,000 affordable houses since coming into office in 2007 – that’s an average of 117 new houses every week - creating jobs in the construction sector.