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Parliamentary scrutiny of Scottish Budget “broken” and “farcical”

Published 19 January 2018 by Colin Howden

Transform Scotland has welcomed the remarks of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee that the current scrutiny process for the Scottish Budget allowed “[in]sufficient depth and quality” in its consideration of the Budget. [1]

Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland said:

“The Scottish budget process has been broken for several years but this year it has just been farcical. It demonstrates a failure of the Scottish democratic process when the committee responsible for scrutinising the Scottish Government’s transport spending plans has been unable to receive any independent evidence on the topic.

“The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has the responsibility of scrutinising the fourth largest budget within the direct control of the Scottish Ministers. [2] However, because of a budget process which the Committee today describes as “unhelpful and unrealistic”, it was unable to provide any scrutiny of the transport component of the budget, despite this forming 85% of the budget held by the REC portfolio.” [3]

 

Notes:

[1] https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees/Report/REC/2018/1/19/Draft-Budget-2018-19#Timing-of-the-budget-publication

[2] See page 8 of the draft budget. Only the ‘Health and Sport’, ‘Communities’, and ‘Education and Skills’ form larger budget lines.

[3] See page 152 of the draft budget. The ‘transport budget’ element of the overall REC budget is taken as the final six rows. That is, “85%” is calculated as (808.8+185.3+831.5+240.5+269.1+59.8)/2806.4.