Scottish Government Draft Spending and Tax Plans 2019-20

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

I understand the point that Alex Cole-Hamilton is making. It is right to reflect on the evidence that we have heard and the calls that have been made. We have been asked to increase mental health funding to improve signposting, provide support across the mental health landscape and recalibrate systems to ensure that support is there when it is needed, including in schools and in the education environment. It is a serious question, which is why we have allocated more. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills take a close interest in the subject. We are confident that those extra resources will, indeed, make a difference.

However, I say again that if the budget is not passed, those resources will not be released to the health service, to schools and colleges and to those who will benefit from the investment. Members ask me what difference the extra investment will make. If they support that investment—if it is so important—surely they should vote for it.