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Labour calls for full review of Scottish government’s spending

A FULL review of the Scottish government’s spending should be carried out to identify unspent money, wasted spending and to increase transparency around the budget, Scottish Labour has said.

The party’s finance spokesman, Daniel Johnson, has called for a comprehensive spending review as part of the budget process, with “line-by-line” evidence of where public money is being spent.

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, is due to announce the proposed budget on Thursday and Mr Johnson said knowing where all the money goes would help to “make sure every penny is spent wisely.”

The Scottish government has never undertaken a comprehensive spending review despite their being carried out by the Treasury on Westminster’s spending about every three years.

Mr Johnson argued that a spending review would allow the government to understand where money was being spent successfully and where spending had failed to deliver its intended aims.

The government should also be able to provide estimates of what it expected to spend in the following two years, something he suggested would give clarity and stability to public budgets such as those of councils and the police.

Additional money should be given to councils to tackle the problems of rubbish potholes, he added.

Mr Johnson said: “To jump-start a meaningful recovery from the pandemic and invest in an ambitious future, we’ve got to make sure every penny is spent wisely.

“We need a clear picture of what we are trying to achieve – and if it’s working.

“Transparency and efficiency must be at the heart of our economic recovery. The days of short-term thinking must end.

“That’s why, as we approach this budget, Labour will be focused on schemes that can unlock Scotland’s potential and get us back on the road to recovery.”

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