Ringfencing NHS 'threat to communities'
FINANCE Secretary John Swinney has been told his plans to protect the NHS budget from the cuts in the public sector will "devastate" communities.
Pat Watters, head of Scotland's public authorities, last night warned Mr Swinney ringfencing the country's health funds would mean local government bearing the brunt of the cuts, threatening the services local authorities provide to the most vulnerable.
The comments follow the publication of this week's Independent Budget Review Group, which warned up to 50,000 jobs in the public sector could go in the coming years.
It also argued that ring-fencing an area like health from cuts would leave other departments in Scotland facing budget cuts of more than 20 per cent by 2014-15.
Mr Swinney said the country was facing "an acute financial challenge".
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