A team of experts unveiled Holyrood’s spending priorities over the next four years in Edinburgh yesterday. Their report said the country faced the ‘most challenging public spending environment since the Second World War’.
The report, entitled ‘Independent Budget Review’ has suggested the Scottish government should consider cutting public sector employment by between 5.7% and 10% by 2014-15, which would see a loss of up to 60,000 jobs.
In addition, the purchasing power of the Scottish Government is expected to be cut by £3.7 billion over the next Spending Review period by 2014-15.
Scotland’s leading public sector agency The Big Partnership made 14% of its income from the public sector in 2009.
Big Partnership director Neil Gibson said that the agency is considering redeploying staff away from the public sector business, but no redundancies are planned at the moment.
Gibson added: ‘No area of the public sector will be exempt from cutbacks and of course this will impact on the marketing and comms of public bodies. It’s clear that activities that come under the heading of "worthy but not essential" will be targeted.
‘However, all levels of public bodies will retain the requirement to communicate with their audiences particularly on important public issues such as health and democracy.’
Following the report's publication, a statement from finance secretary John Swinney pointed out: 'There are many options, but clearly there is no need to pursue all of these as they would generate far more savings than is actually required.'