‘£90K to KPMG and £68 000 to PwC?’
This is money spent by NHS Scotland to help create something that the party of government and the parliament of Scotland wishes to be established.
By contrast – and for perspective – what about Scotland’s share of Westminster government’s spend on something a majority in Scotland didn’t want to happen?
On 12 March 2018, a report from the Institute for Government (IfG) was published that examined the cost of consultants hired by the Westminster government in support of Brexit: ‘Costing Brexit: what is Whitehall spending on exiting the EU?’
But first on the IfG’s assessment of Brexit costs in general: ‘After years of strict controls on departmental budgets, the Chancellor is loosening the purse strings. In the 2017 Autumn Budget, he announced that an extra £250 million (m) had been shared among departments in 2017/18, and A FURTHER £3 BILLION (BN) HAS BEEN SET ASIDE TO FUND BREXIT OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS.’
And: ‘… the total amount spent over the years leading up to formal exit could be as high as £2bn.’
Then specifically on bought-in human resources: ‘Departments are also bringing in contractors and agency staff to support their full-time employees, and enlisting consultants to help with organisational restructuring and reprioritisation in the run up to Brexit.
‘The Home Office, for example, is using around 50% more agency staff per month now than it was in the year before the referendum. If this continues, the department will have SPENT ALMOST £40M MORE ON AGENCY STAFF IN 2017/18 than it did between June 2015 and June 2016, with a similar amount expected in 2018/19.
‘While DExEU received pro bono work from the likes of Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG in 2016/17, it is now starting to spend, signing a £1.9M CONTRACT WITH MCKINSEY FOR SIX MONTHS of work in 2017. BEIS and Defra have BOTH RECENTLY SIGNED £1M CONTRACTS WITH THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP.’
‘Defra has spent MORE THAN £2.5M ON CONSULTANCY RELATED TO ITS EU EXIT WORK SO FAR. This includes a £1.1m contract with The Boston Consulting Group for four months of planning assistance, and A £1M, TWO-MONTH CONTACT WITH PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS for support with the delivery of Defra’s EU exit programme.
So ‘£90K to KPMG and £68 000 to PwC’ spent on something a majority of voters in Scotland support against many £millions spent – i.e. an order of magnitude more at least – for something a majority of the same voters rejected. The result of a value for money comparison would seem blindingly obvious!
(And as an ‘aside’, the IfG report notes substantial increases in employment in Whitehall departments: ‘In 2018/19 alone, we estimate that the cost of new payroll staff working on Brexit in these six departments will be around £400m. The final figure could be significantly higher, though: our calculations do not include the cost of recruiting and training new staff, and are based on conservative estimates of expected staff increases between March 2018 and March 2019.’
We know that Scotland’s tax payers will be allocated a share of additional employment costs. Where are these newly recruited staff based? The vast majority will be in London and perhaps elsewhere in England. So how much of a local economic multiplier will Scotland benefit from as a result of this spending to increase Civil Service numbers? Something approaching zero!)