Magazine article Public Finance

Publish Details of Cuts, Swinney Urged

Magazine article Public Finance

Publish Details of Cuts, Swinney Urged

Article excerpt

Scotland's finance secretan' is coming under pressure to publish details of the spending cuts planned.

Both opposition politicians and a leading Scottish think-tank have asked John Swinney to provide early information on where the axe is likely to fall.

A June report from the Scottish Parliament's finance committee suggested there was a lack of urgency in dealing with the cuts. Responding to this on August 8, Swinney claimed that 'clear, consistent and early preparation' had been made to address the Very challenging climate' that lies ahead. But he gave no farther details.

Scottish Labour finance spokesman Andy Kerr accused Swinney of delavinghis budget plans. He said: 'The Scottish Government's commitment to openness and transparency around the budget process is a sham. Parliament is being denied the opportunity of a full debate because Swinney is deliberately delaying the publication of his draft budget.'

The Glasgow-based Centre for Public Policy for Regions also joined the debate, saying decisions had to be made urgently. The think-tank, whose own report coincided with Swinney's statement, underlined the need for 'both leadership and speed' in deciding the cuts required. …

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