Finance Committee welcomes Scottish Government emphasis on Capital Investment

10/12/2012

The Finance Committee has welcomed the capital investment the Scottish Government is providing in this year’s budget, in its report on the Draft Budget 2013-14 published today.

 

This conclusion is based on the Finance Committee’s focus on whether the spending priorities within the Draft Budget 2013-14 are consistent with the Scottish Government’s emphasis on increasing sustainable growth.

Financial pressures remain substantial and the Committee recognises that continuing to meet its budgetary commitments in these circumstances remains a significant challenge for the Scottish Government. 

The Committee scrutinised a number of areas that emerged during its evidence sessions including: capital investment; “picking winners” in Scotland’s economy; access to capital; housing; broadband; regeneration; skills and employment; non-domestic rates income (NDRI) and public sector procurement.

Committee Convener Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s emphasis on maximising capital investment at a time of severe budgetary constraints. Nevertheless, we also believe there is a need for greater clarity both in terms of additional investment provided and the capital projects supported.”

“We also seek greater analysis of the link between the Scottish Government’s spending priorities and outcomes. In particular, we would like a cost-benefit analysis of the contribution which the spending priorities make towards sustainable economic growth.”

The Finance Committee asked the Scottish Government to respond to the following points:

  • Consideration of additional funding for affordable housing, should additional resources become available.
  • Provide an annual update on progress including savings and efficiencies achieved as a consequence of implementing the McLelland Review recommendations.
  • Identify and promote areas where Scotland has a genuine competitive advantage and how best to realise Scotland’s potential as a premium brand in food and drink.
  • Whether consideration has been given to prioritising internet access across the whole of Scotland as opposed to prioritising high speed broadband?
  • To provide an update on any Barnett consequentials arising from welfare reform and how the Scottish Government intends to allocate these.

Background

The Draft Budget 2013-14 was published by the Scottish Government on 20 September 2012. This report from the Finance Committee demonstrates the scrutiny of the draft Budget proposals including a number of recommendations for consideration by the Scottish Government in advance of the Budget Bill’s publication in January 2013.

The Finance Committee received submissions from each subject committee, the Equal Opportunities Committee and the European and External Relations Committee.

The debate on the Committee’s draft budget report will take place in the week before Christmas. 

Read the report

Read the full report

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