2013/14 Budget

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney’s completion of the Scottish Government’s spending plans for 2013/14 is a major achievement in difficult times. Mr Swinney has to work within a budget fixed by Westminster at £30 billion, which has decreased over the last 4 years by a whopping 8% in real terms.  By law, the budget must be balanced with no borrowing.

Since NHS spending is protected, “health and wellbeing” take almost 40% of public spending. The remaining 60% is divided among many competing areas, ranging from local government and infrastructure to education and justice. Many painful decisions must be made and not everyone will be satisfied with the outcomes, but those politicians calling for more spending should say where they would get the money from. Read more of this post

Budget Announcements

Finance Secretary John Swinney must have the hardest job in the Scottish Government. At a time when Westminster has reduced Scotland’s capital funding by 30%, he has the near-impossible task of balancing the books. Yet, since taking up his post in 2007, he has made the right choices when faced with unenviable decisions between competing budget priorities.

On 20th September, he announced the Draft Budget 2013-14. Key points include the announcement that the Council Tax will remain frozen. This is only fair, since the freeze implemented in 2007 has yet to make up for huge increases under previous Labour/LibDem administrations at Holyrood. Read more of this post

Budget (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – Meeting of the Parliament, 08 February 2012

I hear what Claudia Beamish says about wanting more money for certain things and reducing the cuts. I do not like the word “cuts”, but sometimes that is what they are. If we are not to implement the cuts that she mentions, will she and her colleagues please tell us which budgets they would cut?

Draft Budget 2012-13 and Spending Review 2011 – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 02 November 2011

I have two questions. Preventative spend is an extremely difficult thing to measure, as you have all indicated. As a former salesman, I am concerned that it is possible to dress almost anything up as preventative spend. Could you give us your ideas on some simple criteria fo…

Draft Budget 2012-13 and Spending Review 2011 – Local Government and Regeneration Committee 26 October 2011

Good morning. I am sorry that this is perhaps not as specific a question as you would like, convener. I think that we are all in favour of that great concept of prevention rather than cure. However, as a councillor, I can think of all sorts of clever ways of dressing up spending as preventative inve…

Draft Budget 2012-13 and Spending Review 2011 – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 05 October 2011

At a national level, everyone has agreed that preventative spend is a good thing. We need to separate out preventative spend, with regard to the causal links to the benefits, from the general revenue support that we provide on a day-to-day basis. Kevin Stewart mentioned earlier that different counci…

Budget Adviser – Local Government and Regeneration Committee, 22 June 2011

It is important that we appoint an adviser because the budget is such a complicated area. I think that you were going to say that, convener—I am sorry that I jumped in there. We need a budget adviser; I just hope that it does not cost too much money and I hope that the cost is part of the budget.

Economic Recovery Budget

Finance Secretary John Swinney’s “budget for economic recovery” will benefit Dunfermline and the wider economy, says local MSP Bill Walker. Read more of this post

Swinney’s Budget is Good News for Carnegie College

Bill Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, has welcomed Finance Secretary John Swinney’s funding announcements for the Further Education sector as good news for Carnegie College. Read more of this post

Spring Budget Revision Supports Economic Recovery

The Scottish Government’s announcement of further investment to support economic recovery has been welcomed by Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker. Read more of this post