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Scottish Budget consultation: Process is “entirely broken”

Published 28 April 2017 by Jamie Wylie

Transform Scotland has today criticised the Scottish Parliament’s Budget scrutiny process in evidence submitted to the Parliament’s Finance Committee.

Transform was highly critical of multiple aspects of the Budget review process, including:

  • A lack of time given to allow effective scrutiny of the Budget by parliamentary commitees
  • A lack of transparency on the breakdown of spending on transport
  • A lack of scrutiny of transport spending through the Infrastructure Investment Plan
  • Extremely poor analysis of the environmental and equalities impacts of the Budget

Commenting on the Budget process review, Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

There is a serious lack of transparency in the Budget process. Specifically for transport, there is often a lack of clarity over the breakdown of spending for different sections of the transport Budget. 

“Our experience is that the scrutiny provided by the subject committee with responsibility for transport has then been routinely ignored by the Finance Committee in the latter’s own report. While the scrutiny provided by the subject committee has often been of high quality, this process seems to us entirely pointless if the specific recommendations which the subject committee makes to the Finance Committee is then systematically ignored by the latter.

“The Finance Committee should be tasked with responding, point by point, to all specific recommendations made to it by subject committees. In the absence of this, the scrunity process in the Scottish Parliament appears to us to be entirely broken.”

To read the consultation response, see here.