Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Promise of no Scottish cuts this year means they are only deffered after all (just like Wales)

Chancellor George Osborne promised in an election pledge that Scotland would not face a budget cut this year because spending commitments were already set. That was part and parcel of the supposed respect agenda.

However, it has now been announced that as part of the £6 billion cuts announced by Osborne, Scotland’s share amounting to £332 millions was only in actual fact being deferred.

It is claimed that implied in the original pledge, was that any reduction not implemented this year would be borne next year. But it wasn’t exactly made clear was it?

Why not just say you can defer your cuts this year under a Tory Government but there will be double next year? Not that difficult is it? But then maybe the Scots would not have voted for the Tories in their ludicrous aspiration to gain twelve seats in Scotland. That proved no more than illusionary. And so now the wheels can start to fall off the respect agenda before it is even out of the garage.

It is now being spun that SNP’s Finance Secretary John Swinney has the choice of whether or not to implementing the cuts now or defer them till next year. It seems that John suspected all along that respect was not what was on the agenda and has in fact wisely allowed for the cuts next year.

Swinney believes he is trying to prevent a worse economic decline than is faced elsewhere in the UK.

The position adopted prior to the election by both the Labour and the Lib Dems was of course something very similar. That was naturally before Nick Clegg’s financial epiphany concerning the terrible state of Greece and the Euro, that he was unaware of 2 weeks ago. And that have caused him to do a volte face and swallow Conservative doctrine in one huge gulp and then regurgitate it as "New Politics"®.

But with no serious upturn in the world economy in sight, there is no escaping the fact that cuts not made this year will have to be made next.

So why doesn’t John want to face the pain right now? Could it be that he thinks the SNP won’t be in government next year and bad news can be blamed on the incomers? That is a bit disingenuous is it not, after all John might very well be in power next year. And if he is not it will be Labour and their policy if I remember correctly was to defer the cuts as well. (As was the Lib Dems.)

Is Osborne really sticking by a promise that spending cuts would not apply to Scotland because it had already set its budget. That promise would only have a value of about eight months anyway because early next year the Scottish Government will have to set its budget for 2011-12.

Yes he did make it clear that there would be no cuts this year. But he did not make it clear that there would be twice the cuts next year, or if he did I didn’t hear it.

Good old respect!


  1. Munguin

    'Could it be that he thinks the SNP won’t be in government next year and bad news can be blamed on the incomers?'

    You ask a question and then give the correct answer.....see the snp just as sneaky,sleazy and self serving like all the rest

  2. The Tories promised UK wide cuts in their manifesto and have now asked the SNP when they want to take their medicine. Seems fair enough to me. The SNP are savvy and don't want to cut before the election. The Tories are happy as there won't be a Tory/ Libthingie backlash before the Scottish elections. Both happy as Larry. So we'll take double cuts next year instead. Meanwhile it's business as usual despite massive debts and Europe in freefall. Money thrown around like confetti ( £100K for a repalcement car park entrance in Dundee etc )

  3. I think that a large number of cuts have already been made Niko. All the things that ministers have been told to do in London are copies of what the government has done here.

    The point was that it was sold to us before the election as if we wouldn't have to make any cuts at all this year as the budget was set and Mr Osborne respected Mr Swinney's budget. Of course it doesn't seem to have swayed anyone to vote Tory anyway.

  4. tris

    'The Scheme' is away to start on BBC1. Watch that and see where all of our taxes end up !

  5. The SNP are right to keep the cuts for next year because then the economy should be stronger and Labour might have to pick up the pices just like what they did in the UK economy so what goes around comes around.

    Labour will probably win the next election because the SNP appear to be out of ideas now but one thing is for certain, Labour will have to form a minority government and I really hope the SNP give them hell and ultimately bring them down.

    They have been so negative towards the SNP over the course of the last 3 years and they really are a disgusting bunch of little lefties.

    The only good point about Labour is the name is easier to spell than Conservative.

  6. LOL@Allan

    They certainly have been negative. They have opposed for the sake of opposing, not for the good of Scotland or Scots, and that is unforgivable. The country is more important than their petty fall outs

    The SNP has done good stuff and Labour has taken pleasure in trying to block their good ideas for a fairer Scotland.

    I can't see them being able to form a coalition with the Liberals in Edinburgh, whilst in London the Liberals are in with the Tories. It would make formulation of Liberal policy almost... nah totally impossible.

    So, will the SNP work with them? Doubt it; will the Tories? Doubt it very much... so that leaves them Margo.... Nope... or the Greens, doubt it.

    Ho Hum... Iain Gray, trying to manage a minority government HO HO HO HO HO HO HO...

    Oh dear the idea is too silly for words... that takes political skill and Gray hasn't got any... so that should be fun.

  7. Tris

    If Grey were to form a coalition with the Lib/Dems then it would be the biggest hypocrisy storey of the decade. He has been attacking the Libs for going into coalition with the Tories and if he went into coalition with the Libs then he is technically going into coalition with the Tories as well.

    It gets a bit confusing. In England the Tories and Libs share power and Labour are the opposition. In Scotland Labour are in power with the Libs yet the Tories and the SNP are the opposition. Who gets the blame for the big cuts? Labour blame it on the SNP and Aunty Anabel blames it on the Labour legacy as does Nick Glegg but Tavish blames the SNP.

    Meanwhile over in the Green corner in Holyrood the Greens are in talks with Margo MacDonald to see if they can form a tiny minority government but Margo is having none of it because she likes to cut her grass on Sundays and the greens are opposed to this.

    It's going to be fun and games come 2011.

  8. I wouldn't quite assume that the SNP loses next year. The polls (for what they are worth but Mori has a decent record) shows it to be very much a horse race.

  9. Don’t rule a Labour Liberal coalition in Scotland out, it is politics after all and anything, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to us, can happen.

  10. The point is they blew their respect agenda up to enourmous proportions when they wanted to get 12 MPs. And after the election they went on and on about it when hair shirts were handed out all round. But now we see that as usual it is all smoke and mirrors. Outright lies to call it what it really is.

  11. Ha ha Allan.... I like the idea of the Greens and Margo... and Margo's gardening habits.....

  12. Hello Jeanne, Welcome to Munguin's Republic.

    No I wouldn't count the SNP out either, I think it's possible that they could manage a second term, although to be honest, 2 terms of minority government is a hard hard job.

    It takes real skill and often you take one step forward only to take two back. I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to have a term in opposition to rest and strengthen and let the Gray man try his hand at minority government. See how he likes thae ingins!!

    (Personal view only.)