SCOTLAND MUST UNITE AGAINST WESTMINSTER CUTS

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scotland budget at riskSCOTLAND BUDGET AT RISK

Russell highlights ‘triple whammy’ of recession, cuts and PPP payments

Scotland must unite against Westminster cuts, Education Secretary Michael Russell said ahead of an EIS-organised march in Glasgow Saturday 6th March.

Highlighting the need to have budget stability in Scotland in 2010/11 – given that the Parliament has approved the Scottish Government’s Budget for next year, and any further Westminster cuts would threaten the planned rise in council education budgets – Mr Russell called for everyone with an interest in education to unite against the cuts proposed by the UK parties.

Mr Russell said:

“The fact is that the UK Government has already cut the Scottish Government’s Budget by over £500 million in 2010/11 – the first real terms cut since devolution.  So far, education has been protected by the SNP Government with councils reporting planned increases of 2.6% this year. That has delivered record levels of spending per pupil – at level significantly higher than south of the border – but this will be under real threat if the Westminster parties get their way and impose ‘savage cuts’ on Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has repeatedly urged the three Westminster parties in the strongest possible terms not to cut the 2010/11 Budget any further.  Cosla has made similar representations and now the EIS is making clear teachers’ opposition to these cuts.

“We know – because David Mundell has now blurted it out – that a Tory Government may well cut Scotland’s Budget further in the coming year, jeopardising economic recovery and damaging public services. The Lib-Dems are talking about ‘savage cuts’ while Labour have failed to rule out imposing more cuts in Scotland should they be re-elected.

“This would present Scotland with the triple whammy of a Labour recession, Labour budget cuts and massive Labour PPP payments all threatening education budgets. Scotland must unite against this threat to our children’s education and fight the Westminster cuts.”

Background

The BBC’s Newsnight Scotland programme on Monday (1 March), Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell admitted that there may be cuts in Scotland in 2010/11 under a Tory Government saying: “If the budget for the UK is going to change, the budget in Scotland is going to change.”  The Tories in the Scottish Parliament, of course, voted for the 2010/11 Budget.

  • On Newsnight Scotland on Monday (1 March), Labour’s Margaret Curran MSP refused to rule out cuts under a Labour Government in 2010/11, saying that it would depend on “the state of the economy”.
  • The Scottish Government has increased revenue funding to councils by £325 million in 2010-11. We are providing councils with increasing levels of funding and an increasing share of the total Scottish budget. The total available to local government in 2008-2011 is £35 billion – that is £4 billion or a 12.9% increase over 2005-2008.
  • Local authorities report estimated net revenue education budgets for 2009-10 that are 2.6% higher than the provisional outturn for 2008-09.  In other words, they plan to spend 2.6% more in 2009-10 than they have provisionally reported that they actually spent in 2008-09.
  • Gross revenue expenditure per primary pupil in 2007-08 hit a new record of £4,638, up £236 on the previous year.  This compares with just £3,580 in England (House Common Standard Note, March 09).
  • Gross revenue expenditure per secondary pupil in 2007-08 hit a new record of £6,326, up £206 on the previous year. This compares with just £4,620 in England (House Common Standard Note, March 09).