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18 September 2009

Stevenson Welcomes Publication of Budget for Economic Recovery

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the Finance Secretary’s publication of the draft Scottish budget for 2010/11. This is the first budget to contain a real-terms decrease in spending since devolution, following £500 million of cuts imposed by the Treasury in the teeth of economic recovery.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The Scottish Government has faced up to its responsibilities and made the tough decisions that were forced upon it by the Treasury’s insistence on a real-terms cut in Scotland’s budget for the first time since devolution.

“Accelerating capital spending in the last budget was essential in protecting jobs and it is vital that the UK Government heed the calls from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments to allow a further acceleration of capital spending this year to help us emerge from the recession.

“Despite the tight financial settlement, the SNP Government has demonstrated its determination to protect frontline services, as demonstrated by NHS Grampian’s planned budget increasing from £660.7 million to £678.6 million and continued funding for the substantial increase in police numbers that has already been delivered.

“We are still a long way from recovery, but the SNP Government is demonstrating its determination to get there no matter how many obstacles others may put in Scotland’s path. Labour should end their childish refusal to acknowledge the cuts that are clearly being made to Scotland’s funding and for once engage the Scottish Government in a positive manner in the coming budget negotiations”.
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