Draft Budget 2017-18 (Timetable)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th October 2016.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

I agree that there is room for agreement and that we have to accept something that is short of a budget, but that is what we discussed a month ago at the Finance Committee, on the record, when the cabinet secretary told us:

“I am willing to produce as much scenario planning information as I can.”—[

Official Report

,

Finance Committee

, 7 September 2016; c 16.]

Since then, that commitment has been withdrawn, which the committee has agreed is unacceptable.

I respect and understand the position that the Government is in. Regrettably, we need to acknowledge that something that is short of a draft budget will be necessary. However, we need more detail. I would like to hear a commitment from Mr Mackay, in his closing speech, that he will accept the will of the majority of Parliament and publish that scenario-planning information, with illustrative figures, by the end of the October recess. That is what Parliament has asked for. It is not only MSPs who have a right to expect that but all the people we serve and the organisations whose livelihoods, work and public service depend on the public spending plans that the Government will bring forward.