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IPPR - Budget cuts a 'down payment' on significant spending challenge coming to Scotland by 2020

Scottish Government’s budget increases spending on closing the attainment gap with an additional £80m over three years.

Commenting, following the publication of the Scottish Government’s final 2016/17 Budget, Russell Gunson, Director of IPPR Scotland, said:

“This budget outlines significant real-terms cuts for next year, but in IPPR Scotland's view represents only a down payment on the billions of pounds of cuts facing Scotland over the next four years. How we respond over the coming years should be a question not just for politicians, but a question for the people of Scotland, as we enter the election period and beyond.

“IPPR Scotland's analysis shows that the UK Government’s spending decisions will lead to real-terms cuts to Scotland’s funding in each of the next four years. Given decisions made in Scotland to protect health, police and childcare budgets, non-protected departments could be facing cuts of 16%, worth over £2.3bn a year by 2020. These are very significant sums that bring huge challenges across the whole of the Scottish Parliament.

“The Scottish Government has marginally reduced the proposed spending cuts this coming year in this final Budget. Some additional funding for narrowing the attainment gap in our schools is particularly welcome, given the importance of this issue to delivering the fairer and more equal Scotland we want to see.

“The new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament over taxation, benefits and borrowing open up new opportunities, but devolution of powers can’t make the spending challenge go away by itself.

“IPPR Scotland looks forward to supporting the debate we must now see on how Scotland responds to this spending challenge, how we reform our public services, and how we reshape Scotland’s tax and benefit system using the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament.”

Further information and related documents:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/17534.aspx

Contacts:

Russell Gunson – r.gunson@ippr.org 07766 904 332
Ash Singleton – a.singleton@ippr.org 07887 422 789

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