Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Budget debate

The Scottish government's budget passed its first parliamentary hurdle on 20 January 2010 with MSPs backing its general principles at decision time.

The spending plans for the coming year were supported by 64 MSPs, with 46 against and 18 abstaining.

The minority SNP government's £35bn budget was passed with Tory backing.

Labour, which demanded the government re-instate the cancelled Glasgow Airport Rail Link, voted against, while the Lib Dems and Greens abstained.

Earlier, Finance Secretary John Swinney told the chamber the government had decided to freeze the pay of senior civil servants.

This followed a demand from the Scottish Liberal Democrats to cut the salaries of top earners.

The Scottish Greens had called for more money for marine energy and Mr Swinney pledged an additional £10m would be invested.

The Scottish Conservatives said they would vote for the budget at its first stage, but called for plans to be made now in case of further emergency cuts from Westminster.

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