£20MILLION RISE IN HEALTH FUNDING FOR FORTH VALLEY

Funding for health services in Forth Valley will increase by £20.2million in the next financial year, the Scottish Government unveiled in its draft budget.

NHS Forth Valley is set to receive £527million in 2019-20 – an inflation-beating 4% rise from £506.8million this year.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “It’s welcome news for people across the area that NHS Forth Valley will receive another real-terms increase in funding, which underlines the Scottish Government’s strong commitment to our health service.

“The SNP values our NHS, which is why we will increase health and care funding across Scotland by £729million in 2018-19.

“The Tories have put forward proposals to hand high earners a tax cut that would leave a £1billion hole in Scotland’s public spending. By contrast, the SNP budget delivers for the health service in Forth Valley and across Scotland by pursuing a fairer, more progressive tax policy.”

Announcing his spending plans last week, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay did highlight the potential risk Brexit poses to this extra health spending. He warned that in the event the UK left the EU without a deal, the Scottish Government might be forced to review its budget.