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Tuesday 02 October 2018

Ensure COPFS budget increase isn’t simply a “flash in the pan”, FDA urges Justice Secretary

The Scottish Government recently announced proposals to allocate the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) an additional in-year budget of £3.6 million to fund the recruitment of up to 140 permanent staff.

Ahead of giving evidence to the Justice Committee’s pre-budget scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s draft budget, FDA President Fiona Eadie said:

“While we welcome the in-year budget increase, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf must ensure this comes as part of a sustained, long-term commitment to adequately resource the COPFS and isn’t simply a flash in the pan.

“Years of budget restrictions mean that the £3.6 million increase still represents a real-terms cut of 23.3% compared to 2010 spending levels and bringing in additional prosecutors will not solve the problem overnight.

“We know that a significant number of our members have left the COPFS to move to the Scottish Government, where they will be earning up to £10,000 more than they did as Procurators Fiscal.

“It can’t be right that those who deal with victims of child sexual abuse and the prosecution of some of the most violent offenders in Scotland are valued less than their Scottish Government counterparts.

“Any long-term strategy must address these discrepancies to ensure the COPFS can recruit and retain the dedicated staff needed to deliver justice for the people of Scotland.”

Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
4. For more information contact:
FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 020 7401 5588 or 07738 729 145.
FDA Communications Manager Kay Hender on 020 7401 5586 or 07980 700 747.
5. The FDA's evidence to the Justice Committee can be viewed here.
6. FDA President Fiona Eadie will give evidence to the Justice Committee on Tuesday 2nd October. The meeting papers can be viewed here.
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