Finance committee ask how preventative spending should feature in the next draft budget

24/06/2011

How is the Scottish Government encouraging a more preventative approach to public spending? How is better collaborative working among public bodies in tackling Scotland’s social problems being encouraged? How is a preventative approach being implemented and shared nationally across key agencies? These are core issues raised by the Parliament’s Finance Committee in a call for evidence published today.

The Committee will build on the work of its predecessor committee and focus on preventative spending as the central theme of its scrutiny of the forthcoming Scottish Government spending review and draft budget for 2012-13.

Committee Convener Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“There is cross-party belief that the current reactive approach to public spending is unsustainable. There must be a shift away from reacting to crises and instead focus on prevention and early intervention.”

“The Finance Committee wants to hear views from key, interested groups including NHS boards, Community Planning Partnerships and third sector bodies, on what they would like to see in the spending review and draft budget 2012-13, taking preventative spending into consideration.”

Background

Preventative spending aims to prevent negative social outcomes arising or attempts to eliminate or lessen the impact of such outcomes once they have arisen.

The Report on preventative spending by the Session 3 Finance Committee sets out some of the costs to the public sector in reacting to current social problems and argued that a preventative approach would be a better way of tackling these problems. It also set out the views of the then Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth who said that “the whole concept of preventative intervention lies at the heart of the Government's policy interventions”.

The Session 4 Finance Committee is to build on the work of its predecessor and focus on preventative spending in its scrutiny of the forthcoming spending review (covering the period 2014-15) and draft budget for 2012-13. These will be published by the Scottish Government in September 2011.

The Session 3 Finance Committee published its report on preventative spending in January 2011.