20 Sep 2012
In today’s Scottish budget, finance secretary John Swinney claimed to have invested major sums of cash into both housing and colleges.
However, the cash that has gone back into those two areas falls well below the previous limits before the SNP’s cuts last year.
Despite claims that the Westminster cashflow has been reduced, the budget paper clearly states that in 2008/09 £31.9 billion was allocated, and for 2013/14 this has increased by more than £2 billion to £34.1 billion.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said:
“This is a budget which simply does not put the economy and jobs front and centre.
“The Scottish Government promised much in the lead up but delivered precious little.
“When the construction sector was struggling it took more than £100 million out of the housing budget, but decided today to add £40 million back, claiming this was a success.
“With youth unemployment at unacceptably high levels, the SNP took £50 million out of the college sector and then gave back in this budget a measly £17 million.
“We saw real terms cuts over the spending review period to the enterprise agencies, innovation, rail infrastructure, and the introduction of two anti-business taxes in the form of the retail levy and an increase in empty properties tax.
“In short, the Scottish Government has failed miserably to kick start the economy.”