So now we know. The Glasgow Airport Rail Link has been binned. Following on from the unfair capital supplement that Edinburgh were given despite marching figures it’s another example of Glasgow getting a raw deal.
I will blog on Glasgow later but let’s be under no illusions. Yesterday’s decision on the rail link and the 1000 jobs that would have come with it was not about Westminster cuts but the Scottish Governments priorities. And here’s why.
At the request of the Scottish Government, the Treasury allowed John Swinney to bring forward capital expenditure from this year’s budget last year and the year before that. It was the macroeconomic equivalent of getting an advance on your wages.
So let’s look at the figures. When you combine the capital expenditure brought forward from the last 2 years there has been a total of £347 million taken out of the 2010/2011 budget. By reprofiling this money to make it appear like £347 million is being cut form the capital expenditure this year the SNP are not “playing with a straight bat” as Gordon Brewer said.
So if you took an advance on your wages the next month you would not have as much as you would have had otherwise although you wouldn’t accuse your employer of cutting your wages!
So now that the issue of capital expenditure is sorted where would we be if the SNP hadn’t spent a penny of the 2010/11 budget yet, or what is the effective budget?
Well this year the budget was £29.3 Billion and next year it will be £29.9 Billion, a healthy £600 million increase.
And yes before anyone says it. That figure of £29.9 Billion is taken after the Barnett consequential for the efficiency savings that all departments are undertaking is taken into account.
So yes it would have increased even more had we not been in a global recession but regardless the Scottish Budget is still rising by £600 million after all efficiency savings and despite the recession with tax receipts falling by 10% and the £37 Billion spent bailing out Scottish banks.