THE Scottish Government ended last year with a record underspend, despite repeated complaints from the SNP administration about Westminster austerity cuts squeezing its budget.
Any moderately intelligent and informed person will immediately see through the crass sensationalism. They will separate out the information from the propaganda and recognise that this underspend is a perfectly normal – in fact, inevitable – consequence of the way the Scottish Government is funded. They will note that this underspend happens every year.
They will note that it is higher than usual, but by a margin that could aptly be described as unremarkable. Certainly, this year’s 1.3% underspend is no more remarkable than last year’s figure of 0.6%. Does anybody recall headlines in the British press trumpeting the fact that the “underspend” was 4 percentage points LESS than normal? No! So why all the fuss when it is a mere 3 points more than what we are assured is the usual 1%?
Indeed, why any fuss at all. The Scottish Government cannot budget for a deficit. Therefore, it must always have an underspend. One of the advantages of independence is that the Scottish Government would be able to spend right up to its budget knowing that unforeseen circumstances could be covered by borrowing. It is sickening, but all too typical, hypocrisy for British nationalists to whine about a system they campaigned to preserve.
So, if people are likely to see through the spin, why do it? What audience is being addressed by this kind of thing? Could it be that, in a moronically over-simplistic reading of the referendum result, the British media have concluded that a small majority of people in Scotland are committed British nationalists who will be more than happy with blatant distortion so long as it is done in the name of preserving the old order and the old ways?
Are No voters really content to be treated like fools by the British nationalist propaganda machine?
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One thought on “Scottish Government in record £444m underspend”
That assumes that Scottish voters understand the system – which I think is a massive assumption based on what I hear on the doorstep when canvassing. How many people can tell you what is devolved and what is not? I have heard a Labour candidate for the Council claim at a hustings that he would end the bedroom tax. One householder said that our MSP had to change Health and Safety rules and another wanted the MP to do something about the NHS. That doesn't take into account the appalling ignorance about economics. I have also been asking folks if they can explain to me the difference between the deficit and the National debt. No-one has attempted to give me an answer, never mind give a correct one.Mind you, I think that was what Westminster wanted when they set this whole system up.