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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Crisis - what crisis?

Good news emanates from Sandwick Road, as the budget process grinds its way slowly through the system.

As figures have started to firm up, it appears that the correctly held pessimistic views of the Director of Finance may have overstated the depth of the problem.

I am now told that the forecast deficit is significantly under £500,000 which is well within the levels that are manageable as it represents less than 0.5% of the revenue budget.

If this proves to be accurate, then it is good news indeed, and it will be very interesting to find just from where the extra income (or lower expenditure) originates.

My source suggests that additional support from central Government has appeared for this year, and if this is true then it is a welcome - if temporary - buffer before reality bites. I have previously expressed the view that next years settlement will be highly political, with the Holyrood elections just around the corner, but with the prospects of severe public sector cuts planned by Westminster after the coming General Election, then the planning for the savings has got to start now, so that the Council has a chance to deal with what will be a likely serious cut-back announced in 2010/11 for implementation in 2011/12, or before.

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