Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney Defiant as Casting Vote Defeats £33Bn Budget

Magazine article Public Finance

Swinney Defiant as Casting Vote Defeats £33Bn Budget

Article excerpt

The Scottish Government has been forced to draw up new spending plans after its ?33bn budget was sensationally defeated on the casting vote of the Holyrood Parliament s presiding officer.

Finance Secretary John Swinney pledged to bring forward new proposals 'within a matter of days' in an attempt to resolve the crisis caused by the 2009/ 10 budget Bill failing to complete its parliamentary course following a debate on January 28.

After a tied vote of 64:64, the presiding officer, Alex Fergusson, announced that he would use his casting vote in favour of the status quo, defeating the budget

The decision is the biggest setback suffered so far by Alex Salmond s Scottish National Parry administration, which holds 47 of the 129 places in the Parliament and requires the support of rival parties to get its policies through.

The budget crisis came after tense last-minute horse-trading between the parties which continued right up to decision time. …

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