Highland MSP becomes first woman to deliver Scotland’s Budget statement

Last week Kate Forbes MSP made history by becoming the first-ever female politician and first Gaelic-speaker to deliver the Budget statement in either the Scottish or Westminster Parliaments.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, who also serves as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy in the Scottish Government, said she hoped other young Highlanders would follow in her footsteps in the future.

As well as delivering a 32-minute speech outlining the Scottish Government’s spending priorities, Ms Forbes also responded to almost an hour’s worth of questions from opposition members in the chamber.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “It was obviously in unexpected circumstances, but I was amazed to learn I was the first woman and first Gaelic-speaker to deliver a budget statement.

“Considering how little time I had to prepare, I was moved by comments from people across the Highlands who felt I had done the region proud. I recognise that people will consider and debate the substance of the budget over the coming weeks, but I’m grateful that my home team were right behind me on Thursday. 

“The father of a little girl in the Highlands got in touch to share her homework with me, and she’d written that I had inspired her as a young Highlander. That means a lot.

“Our spending plans include a significant funding uplift for our NHS, fair and progressive taxes and transformative investment in tackling the climate emergency – and I hope in the weeks ahead all MSPs can stay focussed on approving a budget that is in the best possible interest of all our citizens.”

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