Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lies, damned lies and statistics ... again

This other Evening News story from yesterday - about a possible Council pay freeze - is pretty grim in its telling ... summary follows:

  • Liberals and Nationalists have been running Edinburgh for two years.
  • everything in those two years has been wonderful - everything!

  • everything in the previous 23 years was awful - everything!

  • a Liberal is the current Finance spokesperson

  • he has form on taking responsibility seriously

  • the UK budget isn't set until next week

  • there may be a Barnett consequential, in terms of additional efficiency savings for the Scottish Government

  • it could amount to a total of £500million (that's half of one billion pounds for all of Scotland) for the whole Scottish Government

  • that's not Local Government, but the whole of Scottish Government (NHS in Scotland etc.)

  • but hey, it may be theoretical at the moment, but in a rash of maturity I'll blame all my problems on that possible efficiency saving being fully implemented and a share given to Local Government in Scotland

  • I know I sound like a Nationalist, but I'm a Liberal so I can sound how I like

Grown up politics - just what we need at the moment.

And here's what is conveniently missing from this stunning analysis:

  • funding for the Scottish Government in 2008/09 was £33.2billion

  • funding for the Scottish Government in 2009/10 is £34.5billion

  • funding for the Scottish Government in 2010/11 will be £35.6billion

  • yes - that's right - a real terms increase year on year

  • over £50billion was pumped into Scotland to save Scotland's two biggest banks - by the Scottish Government? ; by the Liberals in Edinburgh? ; I think you know the answers.

  • over £2billion has been delivered directly to Scottish people via recent tax changes (most implemented just a few weeks ago at the start of the new financial year) - by the Scottish Government? ; by the Liberals in Edinburgh? ; I think you know the answers.

This whole approach is highly intelligent and treats voters with the respect they deserve: of course everything in Edinburgh is the fault of London and nothing --- absolutely nothing --- is the fault of the inspirational leadership that we've seen at the City of Edinburgh Council over the last two years.

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