Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney's Budget 'Puts Health before Economy'

Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney's Budget 'Puts Health before Economy'

Article excerpt

An influential think-tank has challenged the Scottish Government's claim that Its top priority is tacking the recession and the economy.

The Centre for Public Policy and Regions also argued that Finance Secretary John Swinney had put off the tough decisions needed to cut his £34.6bn draft budget.

In an assessment of the budget, the Glasgow University-based think-tank claimed there was little extra funding for business support. It said Swinney had prioritised health, allocating an extra £187 m for the service.

According to the analysis, the main cuts to capital and current spending were in areas most often associated the economy, with 'substantial falls' for capital investment programmes such as housing, transport, regeneration and enterprise agencies.

CPPR director Richard Harris said: 'Given the relative allocation of from enterprise and infrastructure to health, it is hard to see how the draft is consistent with an recovery plan. …

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