Engagements

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 28th March 2007.

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Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister 11:30 am, 28th March 2007

Of course, the polls indicate that this is a real fight. People in Scotland will have to make up their minds whether they want the policy that the hon. Gentleman represents, which is separation—with all the risks that it entails, with tax and spending policies that would mean a £5,000 hit for average households and a 3p local income tax—or whether they want to continue with what has happened to the Scottish economy and living standards over the last 10 years, which has meant Scotland's unemployment being below the UK average for the first time, 200,000 extra jobs and a booming Scottish economy. That is the choice and I look forward to debating with the hon. Gentleman from now until polling day.

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Susie Main
Posted on 29 Mar 2007 9:26 pm (Report this annotation)

Tony Blair said: " ...whether they want to continue with what has happened to the Scottish economy and living standards over the last 10 years, which has meant Scotland's unemployment being below the UK average for the first time, 200,000 extra jobs and a booming Scottish economy."

I'm Scottish, living in Scotland, and can tell the Prime Minister categorically that my family's standard of living has fallen year in and year out with Labour in Westminster.

If it's indeed true that Scotland's unemployment is below the UK average for the first time, then I firmly believe that that can only be as a result of yet more cynical massaging of the figures by making new policies which discount people previously rated as unemployed and lump them instead in some other out of work category.

200,000 extra jobs??? H'mm. I'd like to see the proof. And if that proof WERE available, I'd like to know what proportion of those jobs were taken by Scots and what were simply relocations of English firms and employees to the cheaper "boonies" of Scotland.

The claim of a booming Scottish economy makes me want to laugh and cry together. The only potential I have seen for any booming is the sound of the Faslane base exploding and taking us all out with it. Certainly in the part of Aberdeenshire I live in, shops and businesses seem to be folding on an ever increasing basis.