Perhaps if Mr Swinney was still finance secretary, he would treat the Finance and Constitution Committee with a bit more respect than his successor seems to. The point, surely, is that the autumn statement will come at the same time every year. If we get into a pattern of delaying the Scottish Government’s budget on an annual basis, that is clearly not acceptable.
We are trying to find a compromise position that allows the committees of this Parliament to do their job properly by getting them the information that they require at least to start their budget scrutiny work. They are unable to do that at the moment because of the lack of information.
On the risks to the Scottish Government’s budget, it is worth looking at the advice that the Finance and Constitution Committee has been given by its own adviser, whose actual words were that the impact of the autumn statement on the overall Scottish Government budget was likely to be “relatively minor”—those were the actual words that he used. He suggested elsewhere that the overall impact on the budget—as Mr Kelly said in his intervention—was unlikely to be higher than £200 million. That is in the context, of course—