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United Kingdom Budget

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:45 pm on 25th March 2010.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 4:45 pm, 25th March 2010

The material from the office of the chief economic adviser, which is now in SPICe, is what it says on the report: a production of the office of the chief economic adviser. It shows that the budget will be 1.3 per cent lower in real terms in 2010-11 compared with 2009-10. The document includes a chart, which—as is accurately shown—is extracted from page 33 of the budget red book. Any analysis of that chart shows that the fiscal stance in 2010-11 is negative. That demonstrates that there is no fiscal stimulus in place in 2010-11. That is the reality that Mr Kerr must face up to.

That is a matter of regret to me. If the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer were living up to their rhetoric—that it was important to deploy fiscal stimulus to support economic recovery at this time—chart 2.5 on page 33 of the red book would not look the way that it does. That is what Mr Kerr needs to reflect upon.

I want Scotland to have a prosperous and successful economy. The opportunity for that would be strengthened if we had had the access to fiscal stimulus through capital acceleration that the Labour Party has supported and which Mr Gray has made a virtue of calling for. I only wish that the chancellor had listened to the Labour Party in Scotland and its demands for capital acceleration to support economic recovery.