I am delighted to commend a British Budget that will forge the way towards economic recovery from Covid-19.
In the days before the Chancellor set out his vision for jobs and business, there was a welcome boost for the region’s oil and gas industry, now working to reach carbon neutrality targets with little assistance from Holyrood.
The £32 million in new funding for the energy transition zone and Aberdeen technology centre is a vote of confidence in our part of the UK as the leader in its field.
Hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, offshore wind – these will all be revolutionised here.
Throughout this pandemic, the UK Government has stepped up, providing an additional £9.7 billion for Scotland’s budget since March 2020.
And Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, which has already protected almost a million jobs in Scotland, has just been extended until the end of September.
It was the right move to keep the government’s Universal Credit uplift.
Figures showed Aberdeenshire’s percentage of working-age people was at 4% in December, as opposed to 1.8% at the start of the pandemic.
Jobs and businesses are always the priority of the Conservatives. Myself and my colleagues will always put Scottish livelihoods first and that’s why this budget is so important.
Many parents, teachers and young people will be delighted with a full return to school for primaries, and some blended learning for S1 to S3 pupils from March 15.
This came about after my Holyrood colleagues urged the SNP government to follow the scientific data, not arbitrary dates or prevarication, showing Covid transmission rates are falling steeply and schools can return safely.
All pupils will now return to class, in some form, before the Easter holidays.
Pupils and parents have already been impacted enough by this virus. We need to put young people first and safely get them back into classrooms as soon as possible.