Thursday, 22 September 2011

Da Budget 2011

Well, the Man with the Money (aka John Swinney) has spoken, and decided how the pocket money from our friends in the South is to be spent.

Nothing really that controversial to report to be honest, but the big retailers that peddle alcohol and tobacco are going to get a bit of spanking. Some commentators have noted that this will be a boost to small retailers as the big boys may increase prices to compensate. All well and good, as you will now be encouraged to buy the aforementioned fags and booze in your local corner shop.

But the levy on the retailers is to pay for "preventative" policies. Either the Scottish Government will be implementing some new form of contraception, or the money is being used to change the locks at Holyrood to keep the unruly opposition MSPs occupied as they try to figure out what happened. A map of their  gluteus maximus and articulatio cubiti will be provided.

Councils will have the same money to waste spend efficiently in their communities. no doubt ensuring that the councillors maintain their cups of coffee and muffins, hopefully at a lower cost than the US Government does.

Road improvements lose about £10 million, but given the current state of the roads no one will really notice. Some potholes are getting so large in Glasgow drivers think a new Clyde Tunnel has been opened.

The Culture budget is dropping, however free access to national collections will be maintained, so that should be of some comfort to Rangers fans if Ibrox gets turned into a museum by HMRC.

Of real concern is the cut in the Employability Skills budget. How will the Scottish Government ensure that the soon-to-be-made-redundant councillors (ahem, Lib Dems) are able to learn some new skills (ie breathing for starters) after the council elections next year?

Overall, the budget has been cut by some £3 billion.

Rumours that the Edinburgh Trams Project is somehow responsible is purely coincidental.......

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