Scottish Budget

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th November 1969.

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Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus 12:00 am, 4th November 1969

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of preparing the details of the Treasury's Scottish budget.

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

Departments have not kept a detailed record of their work on this question, but I estimate that the total cost was rather more than £3,000.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

That figure should be treated with the same sort of reservation as is made about some of the figures in the budget itself, but would the right hon. Gentleman give us any idea of the amount of time taken by firms in answering the questionnaire for the purpose of this exercise? Can he say what specific purpose this whole exercise has served?

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

The hon. Gentleman asked me what was the cost to public funds, and I have given him the answer —the cost to public funds. Therefore, I have not to deal with the other irrelevant points he has just put to me.

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Hamilton

Was it considerations of cost by the Labour Government and their predecessors which prevented them from publishing a Scottish budget over the last 17 years, or was there some other reason?

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

I cannot accept responsibility for everything which has gone on in this House over the last 17 years.