Scotland is on course for further belt-tightening, with a second wave of cuts now forecast after 2014/15, researchers have reported.
Almost 50% of the Scottish Government’s share of cuts to its budget from Westminster have already been made, with around £3.1 billion being saved between 2009/10 and 2012/13, according to a report by Glasgow University’s Centre for Public Policy for Regions.
But between now and 2017/18, the budget still has to fall by £3.2 billion in real terms in order to meet austerity targets.
The report anticipates that 2016/17 and 2017/18 will both see “significantly large cuts”, particularly to the resource budget, in which only around 35% of savings have already been made.
The report goes on to state that “most of the pain still lies ahead”, at a time when the recent pay freezes in the public sector are coming to an end.