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Scottish government underspends budget by £347m

posted 4 Oct 2015, 09:14 by Peter Webb   [ updated 20 Nov 2015, 02:51 ]

That Better Government (decision-making) is at stake while a financial and budgetary control system is lacking may now be more widely understood. Ramifications are all-embracing. There is also the extent to which  politicians’ pre-election offers unwisely rebound from a poorly informed electorate and with out-of-date data. 

The Scotsman has just reported “Scottish government under-spends budget by £347m” the Auditor having done her work and called for consolidated accounts to be prepared in future. (The  UK Whole Government consolidated Accounts  are said to lead the world new as they are and so far without the intended budget component). Quotes from political leaders reveal that to under-spend is not necessarily ‘good’ (and indeed vice versa) where indicating slow capital starts (‘shovel un-readiness’) and the SNP “constantly complains about budget cuts from Westminster, and it’s not even spending the money it has”. 

Although it is far from clear it seems that at present Scotland is part of the UK picture by direct aggregation in some degree.  But an evolutionary step would be for the Scottish Accounts to be consolidated and then as a single entity  in UK. This goes to the heart of considerations during the incoherent talk of devolvement as to method to accord with intended  structures within the sterling area.  

Global industrial groups have long since consolidated across borders, legal systems and currencies without  the ‘chip-on-shoulder’ attitudes of ‘subsidiaryness’ which have accompanied the Euro let alone all the ‘central’ versus ‘local’ hang-ups here at home. The Treasury has a lot to answer for. Government experience across the planet in this dimension is only now stumbling into the modern era. 

Given a financial system a myriad of pennies yet have to drop concerning ‘side effects’ and issues historically made complicated such as local funding, taxation and differential ‘empowerment’ legislation.