Scottish Government underspend must be re-allocated for public services, says FDA

12 January 2015

For immediate release

Following the confirmation of an underspend of £444 million in the 2013-14 final budget out-turn report to MSPs by Scottish Government (SG), the FDA will be seeking assurances that this amount will be re-allocated before the 2015 budget is finalised. 

FDA's Scottish Secretary Jim Caldwell said: "It's disappointing that such a large underspend is announced while further cuts are being planned.

"The FDA represents members across SG and we know the pressure that they are already under, without money being underspent or further cuts being imposed."

The FDA represents members in the Procurators Fiscal Service and Education Scotland where some of the biggest underspends appear; £92 million (3.6% of the total budget) in Justice and £165 million (5.5% of the total) in Education and Lifelong Learning respectively.

Caldwell added: "The FDA will be writing to the relevant Cabinet Secretaries to seek assurances that any underspends will be allocated prior to the 2015 budget being finalised.

"Our members working in these areas are under increasing pressure to ensure that education standards are not just maintained but improved, and that the justice system operates fairly and timeously. This is what the public expects.

"These objectives are proving extremely difficult to achieve under the current financial constraints, with staffing levels continually being cut. We therefore need to ensure that all the money allocated by SG is used, so that our members can meet the expectations of the public."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, school inspectors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, and other professionals work across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA can be described as "the senior public servants' union" and should be referred to simply as "the FDA".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

4. For further information contact:

  • Jim Caldwell, Scottish Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 126778.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.