Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland Can Afford Its Policies, Insists Swinney

Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland Can Afford Its Policies, Insists Swinney

Article excerpt

Finance Secretary John Swinney has denied that the Scottish budget is facing a funding crisis because of the recession.

At a meeting of the Scottish Parliament finance committee this week, the minister came under pressure to respond to an influential report questioning the Scottish Government's ability to afford costly policies.

Examples included free personal care, bus passes for elderly people and plans to abolish prescription charges. According to the Glasgow-based Centre for Public Policy for Regions, such policies may need to be 'targeted' as a result of the recession.

Swinney argued that the concerns voiced by the CPPR had been comprehensibly answered' by the budget plans in place and revisions he was putting before the committee.

He said: Tor example, in 2009/10 - far from perhaps restricting free personal care for the elderly - the government is in fact putting £40m more into free personal care to take account of the recommendations made by Lord Sutherland in his recent updated review. …

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