Public Services


Our public services are really feeling the strain at the moment. The NHS has a one billion pound repair bill to resolve, older people are facing increased charges and a deteriorating level of care and our colleges are struggling to accept the huge number of applicants trying to get a place.

But if you thought that things were already bad, it would appear the situation is set to get worse.

Crawford Beveridge - the very man the SNP government appointed to review the state of our country’s public services – has said that Scotland faces the biggest finance crisis since the Second World War.

There are three billion worth of cuts still to make and at the same time our elderly population is set to increase immeasurably.

With a crisis looming, it is crucial we have an honest debate about how we fund our public services.

We have to be frank about what policies we can and cannot afford.

During the debate on universal benefits on Thursday it was clear that the SNP did not want to have an honest debate.

They would rather continue on as they are, turning a blind eye to the storm clouds coming our way and hope that everything will be alright on the night.

This does a disservice to the people of Scotland who rely on our public services.

It is up to Scotland’s policy makers, as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said, to secure social justice and sustainable economic growth. The real test will be achieving fairness in the midst of cuts. Deciding how to cut spending and who should take more of the strain is even more important than deciding how much that cut should be. We face a reality check for devolution and we have a chance to prove that the new reality matches the rhetoric.