A good Budget for the Highlands and Islands

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has hailed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s UK Budget as a good one for the region.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “This is a good Budget for the Highlands and Islands.

“Local people and businesses will welcome the freeze in fuel duty, while strong lobbying by NFU Scotland and my Conservative colleagues means our farming and fishing sectors will continue to receive vital tax relief on red diesel.

“Meanwhile, local distillers and brewers will be raising a glass to the news the Chancellor is freezing duty on their products, something the Scottish Conservatives have been pushing for to give support to our important and growing food and drinks sector. There will also be new money to help distilleries decarbonise and a fund to support our great Scottish food and drink exports around the world.

“If you add to that increased investment in mobile coverage - something which really needs improvement in our region – as well an extra £640 million coming to the Scottish Government, then you have a package that sets the foundations for growth, tackles climate change and represents a very good deal for the region. 

“With real challenges ahead of us in combating the Coronavirus epidemic, the resilience of the UK economy, and supporting our local businesses, will be critical for getting us through this crisis. This Budget will play a major part in that.

“We now need to see the increased co-operation between the UK and Scottish governments which has marked the coronavirus health challenge extend into economic policy-making.”