Public Sector Early-Departure Schemes

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2013.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party

I can give an absolute assurance that the police and fire services in Scotland will be managed rather more effectively than many Labour local authorities have been, in terms of exactly the things that the member is speaking about.

I do not think that the member should be allowed to set the Audit Scotland report in the context in which he set it. For example, on page 4, Audit Scotland said:

“Early retirements and voluntary redundancies, for example, can be a useful way of avoiding the delays and costs of compulsory redundancies ... Once the initial outlay has been recouped, they can provide significant savings for organisations.”

The member should reflect on the balance of what the Audit Scotland report had to say about that. He should also reflect on the range of cases—cases that I could quote to him—in which the practices and policies of some of his colleagues in local government have been brought seriously into question.