The trouble brewing has been visible for months thanks to forecasts published by the Scottish Government’s own Fiscal Commission and a critical Holyrood Finance Committee report (where the SNP/Green coalition has a majority) and goes back to policy decisions taken by the SNP over many years.
The financial reckoning for SNP mismanagement grows ever closer, but unfortunately it is not the politicians responsible that will immediately feel the pain. That, dear reader is far more likely to be you and your extended family.
Even though the Scottish Government has received the most generous financial settlement in real terms from Westminster since the Scottish Parliament opened, it faces a shortfall between anticipated spending and revenues of £3.5bn by the financial year 2026/27. That is far too big a sink hole to be hidden in plain sight among Scotland’s moonscape of potholes.
In its latest review of the Scottish Government’s finances published last week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies laid out the stark choice facing Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, “choose between spending cuts, tax rises or hoping for extra UK Government funding”.
To sum up, it is SNP government cuts, SNP government taxes – or Conservative government charity. Believing the Conservatives would feel in a charitable mood to solve a problem of the SNP’s making would be a high-risk political gamble putting public services, jobs and livelihoods at risk. Nor would going cap-in-hand do much for the economic arguments for “independence”.