Brown: No ‘vendetta’ against justice system as funding warning issued

Posted on October 8, 2022Comments Off on Brown: No ‘vendetta’ against justice system as funding warning issued

ustice Secretary Keith Brown has said there is “no vendetta” against the justice system as he was warned of the impact of reduced funding.

Appearing at a fringe event at the SNP conference organised by the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), the Justice Secretary – who also serves as the party’s depute leader – said the issues around funding within the justice system came against the backdrop of high inflation.

Calum Steele – the general secretary of the body which represents rank and file police officers – said the years ahead were a “period of the gravest uncertainty”.

We are in a dire financial situation at the moment

“We are in a dire financial situation at the moment,” he said.

“The spending review that the Scottish Government announced at the end of May indicated that funding allocations for the totality of the justice sector were going to be flat cash for the next five years.

“For the police service, the consequences of that will be… a smaller police force, fewer police officers, fewer police stations, more crime and more victims of crime being disgruntled with the police.

“There’s no point pretending that is not going to happen, because that is the only thing that will happen.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes earlier this year announced a five-year provisional spending plan for the Scottish Government, which would keep funding for the Scottish Police Authority at £1.246 billion over the period of the review.

The announcement was made before inflation rose to its current rate of 9.9%.

Responding to the charge from the general secretary, Keith Brown said: “There’s an awful lot being done, there are big, big challenges being done, but there’s no vendetta against any part of the justice system – why would we want to do that?

“The simple point is, the way to overcome these structural limitations, mostly based on finance, are by achieving independence for Scotland.”

The Justice Secretary also said the current financial situation in Scotland was “very grim”.

“As bad as it is, Liz Truss is talking about a further £18 billion coming out of public services – we need to think about things called negative consequentials, to cut the budget within the year,” he said.

“It is an extremely grim situation, and I say these things because … all these things are put at risk because of the current constitutional settlement we have.”

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