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Budget must have economy at heart

January 20, 2012 12:17 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Commenting on publication of the Budget (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:

Willie Rennie MSPWillie Rennie MSP"The jobs figures released this week set out the challenge for the Scottish Budget.

"The Scottish Government has an additional £400 million at its disposal compared to the draft budget. Every penny should be spent creating the jobs and opportunities that Scotland needs.

"There is now no excuse for the SNP to press ahead with their cuts to colleges. Colleges provide students with the skills to get up and get on. Improving the life chances of thousands of people of all ages is something we should support and nourish.

"It is crystal clear that we need to be in the business of increasing employment opportunities, especially for young Scots. That's why the UK Government's £1billion Youth Contract must get up in running in Scotland. The Scottish Government needs to show that it will work with the UK Government to deliver this.

"And the extra money available to the Scottish Government means the SNP can stick to their manifesto promise for 6,000 socially rented homes, rather than continue to back-track and break it with homes that require an element of purchase. Lots of people can't afford to buy. The Scottish Budget should be used to help them rent affordably.

"The Scottish Government needs to ensure its budget reflects the communities it is there to serve. Creating employment opportunities and making sure there is housing available especially for the most vulnerable in our society needs to be their top concern.

"We need to see the Scottish Government taking tough decisions to get our economy moving and to provide for the most vulnerable in our society and communities."