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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Scottish public services facing fundamental reshape over next five years following Budget – IPPR Scotland

• Universities, prisons, legal aid and local councils facing real-terms cuts

Responding to today’s draft Scottish Government budget, Russell Gunson, Director of IPPR Scotland said:

"The Scottish Government has been able to lessen some of the cuts coming to Scotland, for one year at least, through increased taxes on larger businesses and on people buying second homes. However, many departments across Scotland are still facing significant cuts in real-terms.

"The draft Budget sets out increases in NHS spending and restates commitments to increase childcare and affordable housing. It also protects spending on police. However, other departments are facing real-terms cuts, with the biggest cuts potentially facing universities, prisons, legal aid, and local authorities who will see a cut of just under half a billion pounds in their day-to-day spending. With spending on schools and childcare coming from local authority budgets, a cut of this scale must be a big concern.

"This budget is for one year, and John Swinney will need to repeat this scale of tax increase or spending cuts next year, and the years after. Reform of public services in Scotland looks to be high on the agenda, as John Swinney outlined.

"The cuts facing Scotland over the next five years will pose fundamental questions over the size and role of the state, and the route Scotland takes in the future. Without question, by the end of the next five years Scotland will have been reshaped in many important ways. How, in what way, and to what end, should be a decision and a debate that includes the widest and deepest range of voices in Scotland as possible."


Danny Wright – [email protected] 07887 422789

Russell Gunson – [email protected] 07766 904332