Scotland 'Cannot Afford Jobs for Life'; CBI Chiefs Urge Public Sector to Scrap Policy

Daily Mail (London), June 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

Scotland 'Cannot Afford Jobs for Life'; CBI Chiefs Urge Public Sector to Scrap Policy


Byline: Andrew Picken Scottish Political Reporter

BUSINESS leaders last night urged MSPs to end the 'job for life' culture in Scotland's bloated public sector.

Unlike workers in the recession-hit private sector, most civil servants enjoy greater job security thanks to a widespread policy of no compulsory redundancies.

However, business chiefs have called for an urgent re-think in the wake of looming multi-billion pound spending cuts to Scotland's annual grant from Westminster.

CBI Scotland said yesterday the policy is not sustainable in the face of what are expected to be the worst public spending cuts seen in a generation.

Setting out the business group's hopes for next year's Holyrood election, CBI bosses also called for Scottish Water be taken out of the public sector and for an upgrade of the A9 and M8.

The group also said it would oppose any plans to use the Scottish parliament's new powers to increase income tax above the rate in England as it would make Scotland less competitive.

CBI Scotland chairman Linda Urquhart said the prospect of 'leaner times' ahead brought a chance to take a more radical approach to running the country and to 'challenge sacred cows' of the public sector.

She added: 'The next parliament will be dominated by how and whether the newly elected Scottish government responds imaginatively to the challenge of financial austerity and the need to energise the economy.

'The time is right for some radical thinking and business has a great deal to offer in delivering reform based on our experience and know-how.'

Business leaders want whoever wins the next election to consider both public and private means of funding new projects, rather than dismissing them for 'ideological reasons'.

This was a clear reference to the Scottish Futures Trust, the SNP's disastrous funding model for building new schools and hospitals using only public money. …

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