Scottish Government reveals budget plans
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Scottish Government reveals budget plans

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The Scottish Government has revealed that it plans to maintain public spending on the arts, sport and the natural environment despite an overall cut in expenditure for 2010-11.

Scottish finance minister John Swinney has unveiled details of the draft budget for the forthcoming year, which aims to protect frontline services despite having to contend with the first real terms cut in spending since devolution. Efforts to promote physical activity and to increase participation in sport will be sustained through a £1m increase in investment from £53.9m to £54.9m, while funding will be made available to support arts and culture.

Culture minister Michael Russell has announced that spending levels will be sustained in order to support the creation of Creative Scotland, which will represent the country's cultural industries, while £2.5m will go towards the Creative Scotland Innovation Fund. The government has also committed itself to increasing the creation of woodland areas with an additional £15m to be invested each year, while forest recreation facilities in the Scottish Borders will receive £5m.

However, Swinney revealed that administration costs have been reduced and departments have been asked to cut back spending on services not considered to be a priority during 2010-11. Swinney said: "We have had to face difficult choices about where to reduce planned spending next year. We will meet this challenge while continuing to work with our partners to achieve our priorities and protect programmes that matter most to the people of Scotland.

"Crucially that will mean protecting spending on frontline public services, such as schools and hospitals. It will mean ongoing investment in our economic recovery plan, including support for skills development and for hard pressed businesses; and on programmes that help protect households at a time of economic hardship."

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The Scottish Government has revealed that it plans to maintain public spending on the arts, sport and the natural environment despite an overall cut in expenditure for 2010-11.
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