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.
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.