Published: 23/11/2017 11:48 - Updated: 23/11/2017 11:53

Boost for Armed Services veterans in Highlands

Written byEmma Crichton

 

NHS HIghland board will be able to provide more help to Armed Forces veterans
NHS HIghland board will be able to provide more help to Armed Forces veterans

 

NHS Highland will receive more than £1 million to care for armed services veterans.

The health board has been awarded £1,042,911 in this year’s Autumn Budget from London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) grants.

The funding comes from fines paid after a serious of cases of fraud in the banking industry and must be used to support armed forces and emergency services charities.

Scotland Office minister Lord Ian Duncan said: "I am delighted that the UK Government has committed more than £1 million to the NHS Highland health board through LIBOR grants.

"The support, care and compassion they offer our veterans in the north of Scotland is vital.

"This grant reflects our gratitude to all those who have served in our armed forces and all those dedicated individuals working hard for them."

Elsewhere in teh Budget a tax freeze on most alcohol in the UK has been welcomed by most but Far North MP Jamie Stone has called it a "missed opportunity" to boost whisky sales.

The Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Liberal Democrat said cutting duty tax on whisky would protect jobs and boost the Highland economy.

"A great opportunity to boost our vital whisky industry by cutting tax has been completely missed by the chancellor in his Budget" he said.

"Not only is every single distillery job vital in Scotland - not least in my constituency - but also Scots whisky is an iconic product recognised the world over.

"He has simply left the tax where it was before. To me this is an abdication of responsibility. Jobs are as important in remote parts of Scotland as they are in more populous areas of the UK further south. "In future I shall continue to press the case for a reduction in tax for our whisky industry at every single opportunity."

The only tax to be raised on alcohol will be on "high strength, low quality" white cider.

A planned increases on fuel tax was also scrapped, a move applauded by campaign group Fair Fuel UK.

A spokesman said: "We are pleased that the chancellor has understood the debilitating effect of raising fuel duty on consumers, households, businesses and the broad economy.

"He knows that now is not the time for gesture politics and that’s why he listened to the everyday anxieties of Fair Fuel UK’s 1.5 million supporters and continued the duty freeze."

In other moves, workers will be able to earn £11,850 before paying income tax from April, an increase of £350.

The higher rate threshold will also rise from £45,000 to $46,350, which Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford branded "stuffing cash into the pockets of the wealthy".

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