Magazine article Public Finance

SNP Calls on Opposition to Back Its Budget

Magazine article Public Finance

SNP Calls on Opposition to Back Its Budget

Article excerpt

The Scottish National Party government has called on opposition parties to agree its £35bn budget and join in a plea to the Treasury for increased funding.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said that he wanted other parties to endorse his party's call for an acceleration of capital spending to support economic recovery and thousands of jobs.

He added: 'It is within the chancellor's gift to make that happen when he delivers the UK Pre-Budget Report this autumn. Parliament should speak with one voice to demand that he does so.'

Swinney's call follows the publication last week of the SNP administration's draft budget plan for 2010/11.

Blaming Westminster for imposing cuts with a real-terms reduction in the block grant, Swinney said Scottish ministers had to make difficult decisions.

He added: 'Even before we published our plans, I was clear that this process is dependent on working together across the Parliament. Now is the time for that to happen and an early priority is a cross-party meeting with finance spokespeople of the opposition parties.'

Swinney warned there was no room for manoeuvre in the budget. He said: This is a budget fixed by Westminster in terms of total spending and a budget that has been cut in real terms for the first time since devolution. …

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