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Officials raise questions over cost of Scotland’s free public services

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6807 (Published 08 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6807
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Questions are being asked in Scotland about the affordability of universal benefits such as free prescriptions, support for elderly people, and university tuition fees.

The Labour party has set up a commission to investigate the issue after its Scottish leader, Johann Lamont, attacked the creation of a “something for nothing” society where even rich people are provided with free services.

The Scottish National Party, which has a majority in the Scottish parliament, has rejected the criticisms, arguing that Scotland can afford these services and that its changes to the way services …

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