Fears over Inverness jobs as `Scary' SNH budget cuts revealed

16 September 2009

Fears were raised over jobs and the work of Scottish Natural Heritage following the revelation in Parliament that SNH were looking at `scary' cuts of up to 15% in their budget.

The figures were revealed by SNH's Chief Executive in responding to questions from Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Peter Peacock.

Peter Peacock said,

"The Chief Executive was right to use the term `scary' when referring to potential cuts in SNH's budget.

"He told Parliament that the organisation were looking at a range of scenarios from 5%, through 10% and up to 15% cuts for next year's budget.

"This confirms leaked information from the senior civil service that they were contemplating cuts far more severe than would be necessary to meet the current economic challenges of the nation.

"Clearly any cuts at this upper level would be devastating to SNH and, even at 5%, would be very difficult to achieve without severe impacts on the vitally important natural heritage work of SNH and potentially on jobs.

"With the SNP wasting so much public money on national conversations and advancing their plans for independence and having pursued eye catching give-away policies they have put themselves under far greater financial pressure than is necessary - that in turn puts pressure on all those trying to deliver important public services, like SNH.

"I hope there will be no question of SNH facing the depth of cuts they have revealed they have been looking at, but all those with an interest in supporting SNH in their important work need to be vigilant about this and examine the budget proposals that come out in very close detail.

"We will certainly be doing this in Parliament."


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