Sunday, 14 November 2010

Steady now.......

Here is another great graphic from Scotland on Sunday today. John Swinney does indeed have a balancing act this week, and when he announces his Scottish budget for 2011-12 on Wed, the great election phoney war in Scotland will be over.
The headline announcement seems certain to be a one-year public sector pay freeze, which he cannot enforce of course, he can just provide the budget that allows for this.Public sector managers will have to negotiate the freeze. One analyst has already worked out that while this in theory might save £300 million, those earning less than £21,000, the majority of the public sector workforce, will be seeing increases in their wages (quite right) and the overall bill will still probably be higher than it is now. So, perhaps no savings at where will they come from?
Look out for more in-depth scrutiny of the budget in the coming weeks, and no doubt, there will be all sorts of little (or big) inconsistencies thrown up.
The really big issue appears to be that JS will only be providing a one year budget, and big issues like education funding and public sector reforms will only be reporting next summer.
Like Alastair Darling, John Swinney might well be a very nice man, but the SNP saving their political necks is obviously going to take priority on Wed.

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