Output measurement in the Scottish budget

Arthur Midwinter, Brian Ashcroft

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The publication of the new spending plans for Scotland (Scottish Executive 2004a) after the debate on Spending Review 2004 was greeted in journalistic and political circles as but the latest exercise in government spin. The Herald's Scottish political correspondent (Gordon, 2004) inferred that the dropping of 138 targets was part of a Machiavellian exercise of control of information to cloud the process of accountability, and as greater transparency and efficiency in public spending was central to the rationale for targets, then clearly if correct, this was a major issue of public concern. The practice of target-setting by the Executive however, requires the reconsideration of targets in each Spending Review and their replacement as appropriate, whether by more relevant measures or to reflect new priorities. In this case, there was no presentational spin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Economic Commentary
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Fraser of Allander Institute
  • Scottish economy
  • Scottish budget


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