Tech adoption urged to avoid spending shortfall
Scotland’s government faces tough choices
The Scottish Government needs to rethink the delivery of public services or face a spending shortfall of £27 billion in the next seven years, according to new research.
The warning emerges in independent research by Sopra Steria and National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The potential deficit is more than 20 times greater than estimates from the Scottish Fiscal Commission.
The paper follows a nationwide report, produced by NIESR that identified a £300 billion spending gap across the UK, and argues that rethinking public service delivery is critical to bridge the yawning spending chasm.
The research warns that the cost of Brexit combined with demographic pressures will create a widening gap between society’s swelling needs, and what public services will be able to deliver in the future.
The report recommends improving the efficiency of public service delivery, as a more palatable option to further spending cuts.
Commenting on the launch of the research and repositioning of the government business, Sopra Steria managing director for government, Adrian Fieldhouse, said: “This research shows that government continues to face a significant challenge as it attempts to modernise and transform public services whilst tightly managing public spending.
“Without hiking public sector spending, we need to consider other, viable alternatives, including the use of transformational techniques to meet the fiscal challenges.”
The Scottish government has engaged with the technology sector through a number of forums, and has also developed the CivTech programme which connects technology companies with required solutions such as traffic and waste management.