“We hope that a clear, transparent, assessment of financial requirements, that meets with consensus from those who know, work for and draw on these services, emerges. An underfunded National Care Service is unlikely to do any better than the system that it seeks to replace.”
“For now, there’s a mismatch between the Scottish Government’s vision of a more successful Scotland – where poverty is reduced, and economic growth is sustainable – and how we assess public sector performance. I am not convinced that public sector leaders really feel accountable for delivering change that demands different organisations work together.”
“Opportunities for Labour arise from an SNP that excels in performative politics but fails in policy performance. The respective and competing nationalisms of Edinburgh and London governments are shrill and limited in their understanding of self-government. You cannot ‘take back control’ by focusing on empowering London or Edinburgh at the cost to all else. Labour has some way to go but with an independence referendum unlikely any time soon it does have some time.”
“62% of new teachers cannot secure full-time permanent jobs yet teacher training numbers are at their highest level in a decade. Scottish education must wean itself off cheap probationers before more damage is done.”
“The failure to reduce demand in acute services through prevention is evident in the increasing proportion of Scottish budget spend on the National Health Service. This has had many consequences. Money required for acute services means less for other services.” A member of the Christie Commission on delivering public services in Scotland looks back/forward in sorrow
The author, fiscal expert at FAI, examines the tax changes designed to achieve greater fairness made in the fifth Scottish Parliament – and the scope for reform and greater powers in the next.
“Holyrood needs to revive its commitment to power sharing and subsidiarity. At its inception, the Scottish Parliament could legitimately claim to be bold and innovative. It can be again.”
Going beyond recovery from the pandemic. In reviewing a recent book on Scotland post-Covid-19, we urge an ambitious, granular debate on the ways to transform our country and make it greener, fairer and more democratic for all.
“To chart a path to recovery Scottish Labour needs to elect a new opponent,” argues Chris Silver. “If the party found a way to trace a route back to its origins – seeking in the first instance to represent the interests of those who live by selling their labour – there could be a path back from the brink…”
‘This will not be unique to Scotland’s capital but does illustrate the double bind that local government is in with COVID-19: tackling the problems created along with the cost of doing so with insufficient funding and still having to make cuts of £39m at the same time. This is where the unallocated monies and the underspend can be used especially now in this time of great need.’