Scottish Budget Slammed By Housing Association

The Scottish Federation of Housing associations (SFHA) has spoken of its bewilderment at the governments decision make a six per cent budget cut to its plans to provide new affordable homes.

The Scottish Executive pledged to allocate £1.47 billion of its budget to housing, but the SFHA have identified this as a six per cent cut in real terms. According to the housing group, plans for over 30,000 new affordable homes for 2011 can only now spectacularly fail.

Jacqui Watt, Chief Executive of the SFHA, said: "This represents significantly less investment in housing than we would have had. We are disappointed in this and don't understand how the new government thinks it can deliver 35,000 new houses when it is cutting funding."

Scotland's universities joined in the chorus of disappointment as it had asked for an increase in public funding of £168 million by the end of the Government's Spending Review period. According to university representatives, it would have been used to lever in private money to increase the sector's income by an estimated £340 million. However, only £30 million was allocated in the budget, which, the universities are arguing, contravenes the Governments commitment to developing high level skills.

Universities of Scotland Convener, Sir Muir Russell, said: "The Spending Review announcement is a disappointing response to the strong case for investment in higher education made by Universities. We are concerned that it may weaken our competitive position relative to universities in England."

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