Welcome to my Blog

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.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Queen's Speech

Not a lot in the Queen's speech that was new as far as Scotland is concerned.

Thankfully most of the dafter public service 'reforms' only apply to England, where they appear to be heading for a patchwork of public services, provided by anyone who fancies running them. All very reminiscent of the 19th Century. Ironically it took a visionary Liberal to bring public services together into a coherent local government structure. Not much chance of that today!

On Calman the Con-Dems appear to be backtracking somewhat. The modest transfer of powers was the weakest part of Calman and that is likely to be implemented. The taxation proposals are much more radical, although not without their critics. There are also important sections on co-operation between the parliaments, that I hope will not be lost in the debate over fiscal powers.

Of course the big issue is finance. The Barnett consequentials of the £6bn UK cuts package are smaller than they might have been, but any cut mid year (albeit deferred) is particularly difficult. There was some better coverage of our economic analysis of the implications in the Sunday papers. More commentators are beginning to grasp that cuts in the public sector has a knock on effect in the private sector through contract cuts. Plus public service workers worried about lower pay and job cuts are not likely to be spending. You don't have to be a Keynesian economist to see the real risk of a double dip recession.

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