Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Swinney Flu

The art of Governance is often defined by the ability to Govern in a crisis.

Love them or loathe them although they got the UK into the fine mess they gotten us into over the Banks collapsing Labour did at least find a way to do something about it. While it may not be the right thing in the long term they did something.

However, with the swine flu issue the SNP are failing to display the art of Governance. The £33bn budget for the current year was only passed in February but already John Swinney is running cap in hand to the Treasury in Westminster asking for more money. Instead of looking for where the funds may be available for repatriation to the vaccination of Scottish citizenry the first reaction in the crisis is the SNP default position blame it on Westminster.

Yes there is a £11.2m health budget surely somewhere in the whole Scottish budget £100m that Nicola Sturgeon the Health Minister claims is 'owed' to deal with swine flu can be found. Having worked in the Civil Service I'm aware that while budgets have been allocated to projects for the 12 months not all of these are going to be on time, therefore there is bound to be a little surplus in some departments budgets. I also know that even if there is this will find some way of getting spent at the end of the budget cycle.

Put another way John Swinney claims that out of all the department budgets under the SNP control it is impossible for him to find 0.0003% of savings from his budget*, with half the year still to come to be able to find the £100,000 required for the inoculation of Scotland against Swine flu. That sounds like lousy, slipshod and poor financial management to me.

*You can tell I work with stats can't you?

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