Magazine article Public Finance

MSPs Overwhelmingly Back Scottish Budget Second Time Around

Magazine article Public Finance

MSPs Overwhelmingly Back Scottish Budget Second Time Around

Article excerpt

The Scottish Government's £33hn budget has received the overwhelming backing of MSPs just a week after it was rejected by a single vote.

When a revised spending plan was debated on February 4, only the Parliament's two Green MSPs voted against.

The vote of 123-2 was a huge turnaround on the position last week when, after a tied vote of 64-64, presiding officer Alex Fergusson gave his casting vote in favour of the status quo, which meant the - was rejected.

First Minister Alex Salmond warned that if the budget was defeated at a second attempt he would resign and force an election. After a week of intense negotiations, the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, which had voted against the budget, backed the revised version, which was fast-tracked through the Parliament.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said that in the seven days since the budget had been rejected, 'we have seen real and substantial co-operation across the political spectrum'.

He added: Parliament has focused on delivering a budget for economic reonvery. …

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