Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 16:39 UK

Swinney blames PM for 'meltdown'

John Swinney
John Swinney blamed the prime minister for a "financial meltdown"

Finance Secretary John Swinney has accused the prime minister of having "presided over a financial meltdown".

At the SNP conference, Mr Swinney said Gordon Brown had overseen "an economic catastrophe".

The prime minister has said an independent Scotland could not have bailed out its struggling banks.

But Mr Swinney said Mr Brown "bears a significant responsibility for the challenges that people now face in their ordinary lives."

Mr Swinney told the Perth conference: "I'm all for praising Mr Brown when he gets it right - but I'm also all for pointing out where Mr Brown has presided over an economic catastrophe.

"Because he personally has been at the helm of every economic decision in the UK for the last 11 years and he bears a significant responsibility for the challenges that people now face in their ordinary lives."

Earlier this week, Mr Brown insisted it was the financial strength of the United Kingdom that had made the 37m capital injection for banks, including HBOS and the Royal Bank of Scotland, possible.

He said: "This is not the time for party political points. The important thing is that we were able to act decisively with 37bn.

"That would not have been possible with a Scottish administration."


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