Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Pre-Budget report: Scottish reaction in quotes

JIM MURPHY - SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SCOTLAND

"Our biggest priority is helping families through the recession. We will tax the bonuses of bankers and invest in getting people back to work.

"As well as helping families through the recession we will invest in the industries of the future such as renewable energy, bioscience and the digital economy. The Scottish government budget is higher than ever before and has increased again today by £23m."

STEWART HOSIE - SNP TREASURY SPOKESMAN

"To add insult to injury, this massive blow to the Scottish economy comes as the Chancellor reports a predicted £9.5bn increase in revenues from North Sea Oil over the next five years.

"This is a missed opportunity by Labour to deliver for Scotland. When we needed capital spending, Labour give us cuts and when we need investment in frontlines services, we get billions blown on a nuclear weapons that nobody wants or needs."

DAVID MUNDELL - SHADOW SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SCOTLAND

"This is a pre-General Election report not a pre-Budget Report. The Labour government's PBR does nothing for Scotland.

"Labour's failure to deal with the deficit today means if they win the General Election there will be an increase in taxation on Scottish and British jobs for anyone earning more than £20,000 per year.

"The Labour government is behaving like an opposition party while we Conservatives are acting like a responsible government."

LIZ CAMERON - SCOTTISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

"It is encouraging to see the UK government take the lead in finally recognising the threat to our competitiveness caused by public sector pay and pension arrangements which are now way out of line with the realities of the private sector.

"This must be tackled if increasingly finite public resources are to be focused on delivering the policies which our country needs to maximise our potential for growth."

RUSSELL HILLS - KPMG HEAD OF TAX IN SCOTLAND

"The level of borrowing from this government is truly eye-watering.

"It is difficult to see how the Chancellor is going to meet his target of halving the country's budget deficit by 2013 without a combination of tough decisions on public spending and a lot of pain for taxpayers."

ALISTAIR CARMICHAEL - LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

"This was the opportunity for Alistair Darling to come clean with the public and tell them how bad things are. But he has failed to do so, and apparently we are simply to take the Labour Party on trust.

"It would be surprising if many people were prepared to do so, given the only thing we know for certain from today's PBR is that just about all of the forecasts the Government has made so far have been wrong.

"Alistair Darling has ignored the millions of Scots who would benefit from a rebalancing of the tax system, where the rich pay their fair share."

MICHAEL LEVACK - SCOTTISH BUILDING FEDERATION

"We have consistently campaigned for VAT on home building repairs and improvements to be cut to 5% but once again this call has gone unheeded.

"I fear that, by failing to act today, the Chancellor may have condemned the Scottish construction industry to a double dip recession."

IAIN MCMILLAN - CBI SCOTLAND

"We are very disappointed with the decision to increase yet further the National Insurance contributions for both Scottish employers and employees.

"This is a tax on jobs at a time when the UK government should be making it easier for firms to employ people and not more difficult."

ANDY WILLOX - FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

"Extending the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, which we called for last year and has seen more than £600m lent out to just over 6,000 businesses, is a welcome move, although we wanted to see the scheme extended indefinitely and more effectively promoted to help small firms get much-needed access to flexible, affordable finance.

"The government has missed a chance to really tackle a difficult credit market by failing to create more options for access to finance, and more competition among high street banks - especially in Scotland where the market is so dominated by two players."

JACQUI WATT - SCOTTISH FEDERATION OF HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

"We welcome the extra £200m announced by the Chancellor for tackling the energy efficiency of housing stock, which needs to be a priority for Scottish and UK governments.

"Despite the calls from Scotland's two main parties (the SNP and Labour) the Chancellor has not announced a further spending acceleration targeted on affordable housing."

GRAHAME SMITH - STUC

"The Chancellor was right to resist calls for immediate public spending cuts but was wrong not to maintain a small stimulus whilst the economy remains so fragile. Increases in the basic state pension and disability benefits are a welcome and fair response to current economic conditions.

"However, it is hugely disappointing that the government is seeking to force low paid public sector workers to accept real terms wage cuts and higher pension contributions to pay for the irresponsibility and greed of the bankers who caused this recession."

JONATHAN FAIR - HOMES FOR SCOTLAND

"Despite UK government rhetoric on getting banks to increase lending levels in the mortgage markets, there is precious little evidence of this being translated into tangible results.

"Now it appears the Chancellor simply prefers to gamble on the future health of the home building industry."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific