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About the P&I Team Briefings Home | Responses | PFI Index | Policy Guide
43 The Scottish Budget and the Comprehensive Spending Review
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43 The Scottish Budget and the Comprehensive Spending Review

In July 2002 the Chancellor Gordon Brown completed the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) the review of the financial allocations to each Government department. The CSR resulted in a substantial increase in the allocations of funds to Scotland, allocated under the Barnett formula, for the review period 2003-2006.

The Scottish Executive determines how to spend the extra resources in Scotland. The Scottish Executive's Annual Expenditure Report had been announced back in April 2002, and on 12 September 2002 Finance Minister Andy Kerr outlined the Executive's revised spending plans for the three years 2003-4, 2004-5 and 2005-6.

The New Budget Plans Total Managed Expenditure

Financial Year

Allocation

Cumulative Increase

Year on Year % Increase

2002-2003

£20,972m

   

2003-2004

£22,854m

£1,882m

9.0

2004-2005

£24,210m

£3,238m

5.9

2005-2006

£25,857m

£4,885m

6.8

Spending Plans by Portfolio

Local Government Public Services

Financial Year

Spending plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

7,109.8

 

2003-4

7,755.2

9.1

2004-5

8,117.8

4.7

2005-6

8,513

4.9

In addition to this spending on public services is £160m over three years allocated to "Public Sector Reform". Whilst welcoming the extra investment in public services, UNISON is concerned that investment should go towards delivering core services. Key problem areas of resources, training and pay for the front-line staff delivering services has not bee properly addressed. The Executive seems to prefer to ringfence funds for specific projects and initiatives, such as the Public Service Reform fund. It is disappointing that the Executive refuses to recognise the evidence of the expensive failure of PFI/PPP financing.

Health & Community Care

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

6,596.2

 

2003-4

7,291.8

10.5

2004-5

7,880.9

8.1

2005-6

8,585.5

8.9

UNISON welcomes the substantial increases in the health budget, however, again we would like the Executive to invest more in all front line staff delivering NHS services not just medical professionals, but support staff too.

Enterprise & Lifelong Learning

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

2,122

 

2003-4

2,198

3.6

2004-5

2,313

5,2

2005-6

2,414

4.4

The Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Budget again receives proportionately small increases. UNISON is alarmed at the spending proposals for Higher and Further Education where there are major problems of low pay and underfunding in services.

Spending plans for FE and HE Funding Councils, and % increase on previous year:

£m

Further Education

Higher Education

2002-03

420

 

700

 

2003-04

429

2.2%

726

3.7%

2004-05

466

8.6%

770

6.0%

2005-06

504

8.2%

804

4.4%

Education and Young People

The Spending Review period allows for the largest ever investment in school infrastructure. This is achieved through PFI/PPPs with the first stage of the new school building programme (announced in June 2002) representing a £1.15bn investment. UNISON is disheartened to see money that could be used to improve our children's education services being earmarked to be poured into shareholders' pockets in huge PFI projects. Investment in social work training, only addresses in part the major problems in delivering full services due to low pay and staffing shortages.

Transport

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

1,202

 

2003-4

1,408

17.1

2004-5

1,485

5.5

2005-6

1,616

8.8

Substantial increases in transport spending are welcome, however the resources allocated to road build and upgrade (M74, A8 and A 80) are notable, and presumably divert cash to the large contractors again through PPPs.

Social Justice

The Social Justice budget sees considerable increases, however, so much of this funding is earmarked for specific initiatives such as housing stock transfers, Social Inclusion Partnerships, neigh-bourhood wardens, and the Warm Deal.

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

800

 

2003-4

839

4.9

2004-5

921

9.8

2005-6

945

2.6

Environment

Spending plans for the environment budget focus on the new proposals for a fundamental change in waste management through the National Waste Strategy shown in the spending plans for environment protection and waste management. UNISON does have concerns in that the budget for Water continues to decrease at an alarming rate. It appears that it is the tax payer that will make up the budget deficit through increased water charges.

Water:

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

285

 

2003-4

256

-10.2

2004-5

201

-2.5

2005-6

207

3.0

Environmental Protection & Waste Management:

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

44

 

2003-4

73

65.9

2004-5

130

78.1

2005-6

154

18.5

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

The fastest growing budget line is the Scottish Public Pensions Agency, which pays the pensions of retired teachers and NHS employees. The increasing numbers of teachers and health workers retiring in the next few years has put pressure on the fund. However, it's too simplistic to suggest that the taxpayer that must pick up the tab. Private companies have been allowed to take breaks from payments in "good years", whilst public sector workers have continued to pay their contributions whatever the economic climate. Public servants deserve a decent pension, just as they deserve decent pay and conditions. The growing numbers of retiring public sector workers underlines the need to attract more staff to the sector, not the need to cut their pensions!

Financial Year

Spending Plans £m

Year on year % increase

2002-3

234.3

 

2003-4

296.3

26.5

2004-5

326.3

10.1

2005-6

356.3

9.2

 

 

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