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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 18:03 GMT
In quotes - Scottish Budget reaction
Gordon Brown has announced his 11th Budget, which is expected to be his last.

The chancellor's most surprising announcement was a 2p cut in the basic rate of income tax.

Alistair Darling, Trade and Industry Secretary

"We want to give families incentives to encourage them to earn more and keep more. This is hugely beneficial to people on lower incomes."

Alex Salmond, SNP leader

"People will be rightly angry when they realise that the brandished basic rate cut is concealing tax rises elsewhere. Our industry alarm bells should be ringing."

David Mundell, Shadow Scottish Secretary

"This is a tax con, not a tax cut, and will place a disproportionate burden on those worse off."

Nicol Stephen, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader

"The Budget doesn't come close to matching the support we are putting in place in Scotland for green energy and fails to boost the market for this new technology by UK action.

"The Budget was full of spin and gimmicks. The chancellor trumpets the 2p tax cut yet the 10p tax rate on lowest earners doubles up to 20p."

Niall Stewart, Federation of Small Businesses Scotland

"We were particularly pleased to see more encouragement to get people back into work. One of the biggest problems small businesses are facing is difficulties recruiting people."

David Glen, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"What Gordon giveth Gordon has also taken away."

Mark Bollard, Scottish Green Party

"A 200 tax increase on four-by-fours is the price of a few tanks of petrol - it's a token gesture that won't change behaviour.

"This is a Budget for business as usual, growth at any cost - certainly, the environment and future generations will pay dearly."

Tommy Sheridan, Solidarity

"Yet again New Labour has failed miserably to address the obscene chasm in income inequality that has grown unchecked under New Labour over the last 10 years."

Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland

"The chancellor should have done more to make it easier and cheaper for Scots to live climate-friendly lives.

"With the threat of climate chaos growing daily now is the time for bold leadership, not half measures."

Gavin Hewitt, The Scotch Whisky Association

"Today's spirits duty freeze is particularly important at a time when distillers are investing in expanding production in Scotland for long-term growth but face rising energy and other supply chain costs.

"It also sends a clear signal to overseas governments that excise discrimination is unacceptable."

Andrew Hubbard, national tax technical director, Tenon

"The increase in corporation tax rates for smaller companies to 22% is concerning for a major sector of the economy."

Richard Laverick, Ernst & Young

"The chancellor has woken up to the calls of business that have been ignored in the past, both in the tax rate and tax base.

"The result is a mixed bag of changes that may affect different taxpayers in different ways but should lead to a simplified system overall."

Malcolm Webb, UK Offshore Operators Association

"The Treasury clearly recognises that lower taxes are good for business, but unfortunately fails to apply that principle to our industry.

"With cash flows from UK gas fields now under severe pressure and the average cost of new developments running at $25 per barrel, doing nothing is simply not good enough."

Ed Monaghan, Mactaggart & Mickel homebuilder

"We welcome the stamp duty reduction for zero carbon homes and the pursuit of building ever more energy-efficient homes.

"The new homes sector already provides the most energy efficient-homes on the market and will continue to do so."

Grahame Smith, STUC

"Whilst time is required to properly determine the full impact, abolition of the 10p starter rate means that the 2% cut in income tax is unlikely to benefit the majority of workers."

Liz Duncan, Help the Aged Scotland

"This Budget was one more missed opportunity to address the wider needs of our pensioner population and is a profound indictment on another year of warm words instead of much-needed action."

Iain McMillan, CBI Scotland

"We do remain concerned that the overall tax burden on business remains largely unchanged.

"The headline cut in corporation tax announced in the Budget should only be the first step to reducing that burden."

Liz Cameron, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

"As a result of this Budget, the Scottish Executive will receive an additional 1.835bn of consequential funding.

"This is a very substantial sum of money and would go some way towards delivering major improvements to the business and infrastructure environment in Scotland."




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