Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney Warns of 'Tough Choices' over Cuts

Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney Warns of 'Tough Choices' over Cuts

Article excerpt

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has called for a wide-ranging debate on the tough choices that lie ahead following a warning by his chief economist that Scotland faces long-term spending cuts of £42bn.

Swinney said the publication of an independent budget review, due at the end of this month, would trigger a period of consultation led by the government and give the 'whole of society' a chance to air their views.

His statement on July 11 is seen as an indication that the review will identify spending areas that Scotland can no longer afford.

There has been speculation that universal state benefits such as free persona) care and bus travel for elderly people, could be under threat.

Swinney pointed out that an updated analysis by chief economist Dr Andrew Goudie showed that Scotland could lose £42bn over the next 16 years. …

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