Public sector hit by budget cuts

By Gavin Harper

Parliament hit by budget cuts. Picture courtesy of Daily Telegraph

MSPs will have their pay frozen for the next two years, as part of a scheme that plans to reduce the running costs of the Scottish parliament by up to 12% and save nearly £10 million over the next four years.

These plans still require the approval of MSPs, but they are expected to accept the freeze in their pay, albeit reluctantly, in order to reduce the costs of the multi-million pound building at Holyrood.

The parliament’s budget for the forthcoming year has been set at £75.3 million, which is almost 5.3% lower than the already approved budget, which is still a sizeable figure.

Furthermore, the necessary cuts will not result in any members of staff being made redundant, while it was also confirmed staff numbers would be cut by 50 in two years time “through other means”.

Presiding Officer for the parliament, Alex Fergusson, said: “It is vitally important that the parliament continues to play its part in responding to the financial pressures facing public sector finances.”

These cuts come in the wake of some major financial cuts, announced by the coalition government at Westminster last month, which will see the public sector hit hard.

There are also significant cuts being made in the National Health Service (NHS) with one nurse revealing that staff no longer receive donations from patients or relatives, with the money instead going to the local trust.

Staff nurse Terrie Scott said: “We are having to tell relatives not to make donations, as the money all goes to the trust, and the nurses don’t see a penny of it.

“We used to be given a portion of this money for ward maintenance and for our nights out but now this is being capped”

NHS Lothian were unavailable to comment on this matter.