Date: 29 September 04
Extra capital welcome - now we should use it efficiently
- UNISON comments on spending plans
UNISONScotland, the public service
union, welcomed the extra capital expenditure promised in the Scottish Executive's
three year spending plans announced today by Finance Minister, Andy Kerr.
the union warned that unless the opportunity was taken to allow authorities to
move away from expensive PFI/PPP projects, that extra money was unlikely to be
used to deliver services most efficiently.
Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish
Secretary, said "UNISON is pleased to see the Executive continuing to resource
improvements in public services and infrastructure. However, we would urge them
to use the opportunity to create a level playing field for public authorities,
by providing the same subsidies to conventional borrowing as are being provided
to PFI projects - allowing public bodies to choose the most effective method for
building new facilities."
UNISON also sounded a warning on pay and jobs
in the public sector. Matt Smith said: "Everyone is in favour of the efficient
delivery of public services. But that is not achieved by cutting the jobs of those
who deliver them. We will continue to work with the Executive to get efficient
government, but we will want to see savings ploughed back into services, increasing
resources and pay to get more trained staff - social workers, nurses, other health
professionals - to deliver the services Scotland wants and needs."