Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Spending Review in Scotland

The Spending Review, announced yesterday, was more or less as advertized, with major reductions to funding right across the board.

In Scotland, we will be affected through both a reduction in the block grant that we get (administered by ScotGov) but also through reductions in budgets covering reserved matters...........notably welfare benefits.

The first argument to play out will be to clarify just what reduction there has been in the block grant.

The Westminster Coalition says £900 million.

John Swinney says £1.33 billion.

We need to get this out of the way quickly, see a ScotGov budget for next year, and then set about how we are going to deal with the situation presented. The public will not tolerate anyone playing party politics with this once the reality has set in. Those showing a willingness to deal with the situation will be rewarded next May, any other approach will be judged very harshly.

We can argue about the figures for a few days if needs be, but come next week, we all need to be concentrated on this and wht we can do about it.

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