Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

In quotes: Pre-Budget reaction

JIM MURPHY - SCOTTISH SECRETARY

"Today's measures are proof this government is taking decisive action to protect businesses, both small and large, jobs, homes and our future stability and prosperity.

"This means the average Scottish family will better off. It will see a 600 increase in the income tax personal allowance is made permanent with a further rise in the future as well as increases in Child Benefit and the basic state pension."

STEWART HOSIE - SNP WESTMINSTER TREASURY SPOKESMAN

"While accelerated capital expenditure is welcome, the reality is that there is virtually no new money in the PBR in terms of extra spending for Scotland.

"And I am very concerned that the PBR contains a cut in Scotland's Budget 2010/11 over and above any reprofiling of spending."

LIZ CAMERON - SCOTTISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

"The headline-grabbing temporary reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 15% is expensive, but we fear that its effect may be too diluted to have a significant impact on consumer spending.

"Coming at a time when many Scottish retailers are marking down prices in advance of Christmas, a 2.5% cut in VAT will be barely, if at all, discernable, and indeed may even result in an additional cost to business in the form of updates to published and printed price lists."

GRAHAME SMITH - SCOTTISH TRADES UNION CONGRESS

"Today's measures will go some way to providing the short-term stimulus our economy needs. The new direction of travel signified by the proposed rise in higher rate tax is welcome but it should be brought in immediately.

"The protection of low-paid workers from the future national insurance contribution rises is also welcomed."

DAVID MUNDELL - SHADOW SCOTTISH SECRETARY

"These are political remedies, not economic ones. They are meant to stimulate Labour's prospects in surviving the General Election, not Scotland's prospects in surviving the recession.

"What we have been given is a tax bombshell for Scots families that is timed to go off after the General Election."

ANDY WILLCOX - FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

"The government's Small Business Finance Scheme, which closely resembles the Small Business Survival Fund the FSB has been calling for, will provide a vital cash boost to businesses struggling with rising costs and a lack of credit.

"Such a fund, we have been arguing, will be a key step towards tackling the needless cash-flow difficulties which are threatening many perfectly viable and busy small businesses throughout Scotland."

ALISTAIR CHARMICHAEL - SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

"This was an occasion when we needed bold announcements that would inspire confidence that the government would help people to get through difficult times, but we saw nothing of the kind.

"Instead, we got a classic New Labour mix of small measures, giving with one hand while taking away with the other."

DUNCAN McLAREN - FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SCOTLAND

"The Chancellor has missed a real opportunity for a climate friendly economy. We would have liked to have seen a transition to greener spending by both the government and the banks it now owns.

"This could be funded by the subsequent introduction of green taxes, and would have been particularly good for stimulating new employment opportunities at the same time as meeting climate targets."

PROFESSOR PETER SPENCER - ERNST & YOUNG ADVISOR

"Darlings' objective is to progressively reduce the structural deficit using fiscal drag, preannounced tax increases and a slower growth of spending.

"But the long-term growth in public spending is unbelievable and unachievable. Even if you believe this projection, it will take six years to get the underlying current account back to zero."

JONATHAN FAIR - HOMES FOR SCOTLAND

"Despite the keen anticipation, the Chancellor's statement was notable more for what was not announced.

"Yet again, the government has squandered another golden opportunity to reinvigorate the housing market and help an industry which is so vital to the wider economy."

GAVIN HEWITT - SCOTCH WHISKY ASSOCIATION

"Today's 8% excise duty rise is counterproductive and a damaging blow to Scotch Whisky in the UK, depressing consumer demand in a fragile market.

"The alcoholic drinks industry needs as much a boost as the rest of the economy. There is no logic to any duty increase."

RUSSELL HILLS - HEAD OF TAX FOR KPMG IN SCOTLAND

"Today's measures won't prevent a recession but are designed to stop it turning into a prolonged slump.

"As the aim is to fill the hole in demand left by the credit-constrained consumer, the Chancellor is right to finance the package through borrowing and to delay offsetting tax rises or spending cuts until the economy stabilises."

DAVID LONSDALE - CBI SCOTLAND

"We are relieved that the UK Government has not listened to those advocating a windfall tax on energy firms.

"The imposition of a windfall tax would have simply meant energy firms being less likely and less able to make the investments in new and replacement capacity that are urgently needed for our nation's future energy security."

JOHN DRUMMOND - SCOTTISH GROCERS' FEDERATION

"Whilst the 2.5% reduction in VAT will improve consumer confidence, it is the 'big ticket' items which will benefit from this cut more than the convenience store sector, where the average spend is smaller, and any benefit will be negated by increases in duty on alcohol and tobacco."

IAIN DUFF - SCOTTISH COUNCIL FOR DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRY

"This package of carefully targeted investments and tax reliefs, and increased flexibility for businesses when paying tax, should ensure that the recession is not as deep or as long as it would otherwise have been."

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