Scottish health boards considering deep cuts amid budget crisis
Commentary on the budget from economists, campaigners and politicians
FINANCE SECRETARY JOHN SWINNEY has announced the Scottish Government's budget for the year 2016-17 in a climate of austerity and constitutional change.
The budget makes significant changes to the NHS, introduces the new Scottish rate of income tax and means hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts will be pushed down to council authorities.
CommonSpace takes a look at what some of Scotland's leading campaigners have said about the budget.
The Scottish budget has been announced amid tight financial restrictions
FINANCE MINISTER JOHN SWINNEY has announced the Scottish Government's budget for 2016-2017. Expectation that it would be a 'steady as she goes' affair has been confirmed.
A conservative budget was predicted with the 2016 Scottish elections looming, and the SNP's promise to freeze council and income taxes. But that doesn't mean there is nothing of interest in the budget.
CommonSpace looks at five key policies from the Scottish Budget.
Finance secretary promises to defend key services as Westminster cuts handed down
THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT'S Finance Secretary John Swinney has warned of "tough choices" for Scottish public spending as a result of Westminster cuts.
Swinney made the comments ahead of his unveiling of the Scottish Budget on Wednesday (16 December). Between 2010 and 2019 funding available to Scotland will have shrunk by 12.5 per cent in real terms.
SNP parliamentarians submit 20-point plan alternative they claim can replace cuts package
THREE local SNP parliamentarians have called for an alternative to a package of PS26m in cuts proposed by Argyll and Bute Council.
The programme of cuts includes an invitation to accept voluntary redundancy extended to all council workers bar teachers, social care staff and social workers, and would result in the loss of 450 full time staff, or equivalent in work hours, between 2016 and 2020.
SNP Westminster health spokesperson says there is "a limit" to Scottish Government mitigation of austerity
THE SNP's Westminster health spokesperson, Philippa Whitford MP, has said that the decline of public health in Scotland is inevitable under austerity but defended John Swinney's statement that the Scottish Government would be unlikely to reverse cuts.
Scotland's ICT and digital industries lag behind the UK as a whole
SCOTLAND's first ever digital skills academy has opened with the aim of creating the 11,000 new digital and ICT workers needed every year to service Scotland's growing IT industry.
Finance committee hears that employers and the public are "twitchy" over the new Scottish income tax
EXPERTS providing evidence to the finance committee of the Scottish Parliament have raised concern over the implementation of a new Scottish rate of income tax (SRIT).
From April 2016 the main Scottish income tax rate will be reduced by 10p, and the new SRIT implemented. The new SRIT could remain at 10p keeping Scottish taxes in line with the rest of the UK, or could alternatively be reduced or increased.
PCS represents public and civil servants in Scotland
PUBLIC-SECTOR union PCS has told Finance Minister John Swinney that he shouldn't follow in the footsteps of Chancellor George Osborne in imposing "Tory pay misery" on Scottish public-sector workers.
Osborne announced a one per cent increase in public-sector pay for each of the next four years, which if calculated in with the likely rate of inflation is effectively a pay cut.
Critics claim that the government's plans create an ID register by the "back door"
THE SCOTTISH Government has been urged to "step back from the brink" after it survived a Scottish Parliament showdown over plans to create a "super ID database".
A vote on whether to subject proposals to expand the NHS central register (NHSCR) to greater scrutiny before they become law was voted down by 64-61.