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I was the Head of Policy and Public Affairs at UNISON Scotland until my retirement in September 2018. I now work on several policy development projects, so all views are very definitely my own. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Friday, 14 May 2010

PM in Scotland

We have the new Prime Minister in Scotland today promising to respect the Scottish Parliament in a meeting with the First Minister and other party leaders. As they are all well used to coalition and minority government, he might benefit from being in listening mode.

Some of his messages will be welcome. In particular the implementation of the Calman proposals and his recognition of devolution. No small steps from a party that opposed the whole process and still has MSPs and others who are strongly opposed to any further powers for our Parliament.

The tricky bit will be finance. The additional £6bn cuts this year could have Barnett consequentials of up to £600m. particularly devastating after a tricky budget has already been set. The First Minister will have his own list of financial requests. Bringing forward capital spend and a share of the Olympic spend might be stretching it a bit, but he has a good case on the Fossil Fuel Levy cash.

The impact of the current spending cuts is already beginning to hit hard. Our big story yesterday was 1250 jobs going at NHS Glasgow & Clyde Health Board. Health spending has been the most protected area of the Scottish budget yet we are now looking at up to 5000 jobs going across NHS Scotland. And that is before the Tory/Lib Dem additional cuts kick in. You can't make pious pledges about supporting the NHS and then preside over spending cuts. If that is 'New politics' then you can keep it! 

1 comment:

  1. I think the majority of us predict tears before bedtime. I hope it gives time for the Labour party south of the border to get it's act together before the next election then we might see a brighter future. The only good thing they have pronounced upon I can see is the restoration of the link between earnings and pensions next year. Pity we had to say goodbye to a Labour Government before the link is restored.
    Sue Chalmers
    Scottish Retired Members Secretary