Economic Growth

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 4th December 2008.

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Photo of Derek Brownlee Derek Brownlee Conservative 11:40 am, 4th December 2008

To ask the Scottish Executive how it expects the level of economic growth to change in each year to 2012. (S3O-5057)

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government recognises that the performance of the Scottish economy is likely to weaken in the second half of 2008, reflecting the slow-down in the global economy. That is why we have taken the steps that are outlined in our economic recovery plan to support the Scottish economy through these challenging global economic conditions.

Photo of Derek Brownlee Derek Brownlee Conservative

But does not the Scottish economy, or at least income tax revenues, need to increase by 25 per cent in a single year to fill the hole in the minister's local income tax plans? Is that the Scottish Government's expectation?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

Mr Brownlee has got his numbers completely wrong. The First Minister set out clearly to Miss Goldie last week exactly why Mr Brownlee's figures are wrong. There will clearly be an increase in the level of tax take as the economy improves. I gently point out to Mr Brownlee, after his morning of fawning over the council tax, that there will undoubtedly be pressures on council tax income as a consequence of the economic downturn, so what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson None

Before we move to First Minister's question time, I am delighted to welcome Tanzania's high commissioner to the United Kingdom and Quebec's agent-general in London, who have joined us in the Presiding Officer's gallery. They are most welcome. [Applause.]