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Scotland's Debt Mountain: Holyrood's Borrowing Could Hit £50Bn By 2020

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/15/scotland-debt-mountain-holyrood-borrowing-could-hit-50bn-by-2020

Public sector debt in Scotland has mushroomed to record levels after an SNP government spending spree funded by billions of pounds’ worth of borrowing from pension funds, international banks and the Treasury.

An investigation by the Guardian has found that total borrowing to build schools, roads, railway stations, colleges and hospitals under the devolved government could reach £50bn by the end of the decade, putting a heavy strain on the public finances.

The scale of the debt, which dwarfs Holyrood’s annual budget of £30bn, has never been set out by ministers or investigated by the Scottish parliament. It has led to calls by Scotland’s auditor general, Caroline Gardner, and opposition parties for greater openness over public finances.

Gardner said the need for full transparency was even more urgent given that Holyrood is due to get far greater tax-raising powers and is under significant pressure on public spending. John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary, is expected to reveal new spending cuts in his budget on Wednesday after a 1.3% cut in Scotland’s block grant from the Treasury in London.

Everybody loves spending money.....

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Just as well the national government would never spend much more than it takes in revenue ...... whoops. Not too much said about that I notice.

Strange that this tidbit makes headlines just as Sturgeon meets Cameron to discuss devolved powers for revenue and spending.

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£50Bln against a budget of £30bln - so 166% of expenditure

Compared with the UK as a whole, £1.56Trln against a budget of £0.76Trln - so 205% of expenditure.

Now while I'm against reckless spending, I am in favour of targeted debt expenditure during depressions. It looks at first glance as though Scotland is being relatively careful with it's money - but I guess it depends on what they're spending it on.

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Just as well the national government would never spend much more than it takes in revenue ...... whoops. Not too much said about that I notice.

Strange that this tidbit makes headlines just as Sturgeon meets Cameron to discuss devolved powers for revenue and spending.

Pure coincidence. You'd never get the Treasury leaking sensitive information like that to the press.

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What utter pish.

Until eight months ago, Hollywood had a fixed budget. It had no borrowing powers whatsoever. The Scottish government could only spend what it had.

This debt is mainly made up of inherited PFI debts from Labour.

Nothing to see here apart from unionist propaganda.

You may as well close the thread now.

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Just as well the national government would never spend much more than it takes in revenue ...... whoops. Not too much said about that I notice.

Strange that this tidbit makes headlines just as Sturgeon meets Cameron to discuss devolved powers for revenue and spending.

Erm, it's the Grauniad, which is no friend of Cameron. What position do they have on Sturgeon?

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Erm, it's the Grauniad, which is no friend of Cameron. What position do they have on Sturgeon?

They're certainly no friend of Sturgeon either. Kevin McKenna and Severin Carrell are like a unionist tag-team!

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They're certainly no friend of Sturgeon either. Kevin McKenna and Severin Carrell are like a unionist tag-team!

Exactly.

The simple rule to follow regarding the MSM is unless it is in either the Sunday Herald or The National, it is anti SNP. As for television, that rule is even simpler! There are no pro SNP broadcasters whatsoever.

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haven't paid any attention to this nonsense, but CyberNat makes a good point. Holyrood HAS limited borrowing powers, but has never used them, for good reasons. In fact, it is the norm for the Scottish Government to underspend, creating a buffer to ensure that they do not go over budget. Up until this year, that underspend was always returned to HM Treasury. This year the SNP have managed to keep hold of it, for the first time.

Where has all this borrowing come from?

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They certainly do, it's saving (or worse paying back) the money that is the hard bit

I expect they'll bump my rate of income tax up tomorrow to help fund this :(

This thread went very quiet as soon as the obvious was pointed out. Sucks when the Nat bashing doesn't go to plan eh!

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