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FM says better to have consultation

Sturgeon calls for more consensus on budgetary process

Nicola SturgeonFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for the Westminster parliament to learn from Scotland and adopt a more consensus-based process for decision making on budgetary matters.

Speaking at the London School of Economics ahead of the Chancellor’s budget she said the process works better when the parties had time to scrutinise the budget before it is passed.

This means politicians focus on the long-term impact of their decisions and are more honest about the results of spending choices, she said.

Highlighting the way taxes are imposed on industries such as oil and gas, the First Minister pointed to the process in Scotland, highlighting the increased scrutiny of the budget bill and the consultation required to set out the budget for the year ahead.

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish system, which made coalition governments or minority administrations more likely, improved budgetary decision making as ministers sought to build consensus and compromise over spending priorities, increasing debate on complex issues and ensuring the budget’s impact was fully thought through.

“So the Scottish Government is calling for a significant increase in the work allowance to help ensure that those in work have a better chance of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.”

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