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Audit Scotland - Scotland’s public sector needs to focus on the long-term financial sustainability of public services

Scotland’s public sector is in the first year of major spending cuts and public bodies must focus on their long-term financial sustainability to ensure effective public services in the future.

An Audit Scotland report published today, Scotland’s public finances – addressing the challenges, says bodies need to have clear priorities, and plan their budgets and workforces to deliver these.

Scotland’s public sector budget in 2011/12 for running costs and day-to-day spending is £27.5 billion, a drop of 6 per cent or £1.7 billion in real terms from £29.2 billion in 2010/11. Public bodies have budgeted for this in 2011/12, but they need to make significant savings during the year and there is a risk they won’t achieve this due to cost pressures being greater than expected or unforeseen events.

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