The Scottish budget faces a substantial challenge. Between now and the end of the parliament in 2021/22 the resources available to the government are projected to decline by about 3% in real terms.
This might not sound like much. But at the same time as the budget is declining, the health budget (which accounts for almost half of government spending) will increase by 3%. Whilst this might sound generous, a 3% increase is only just sufficient to keep up with a growing and ageing population (notwithstanding the general inflationary pressures facing the health service).
Furthermore, a range of other spending commitments have been made, on services ranging from childcare to policing, tuition fees to care for the elderly. Continue reading “Income tax increases on their own are not a solution for Scotland’s spending challenge”