UK budget may cost Scotland jobs and £500m in funding
Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond has claimed that cuts expected to be made tomorrow during the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling budget address will cost Scotland £500m a year and risk Scottish jobs.
Report from the Scotsman below:
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond today stepped up the pressure on Westminster to abandon "damaging" public spending cuts which would cost thousands of Scottish jobs.The SNP leader said the impact on services of the efficiency measures expected in tomorrow's Budget address by Chancellor Alistair Darling would cost Scotland £500 million a year.
Mr Salmond suggested that ditching the Trident nuclear weapons programme, ID cards and involvement in "illegal wars" could more than cover the savings needed during an address to the STUC in Perth today.
He told delegates at today's conference: "Cuts can be made. But let's make sure that cuts are not made to things that are vital to our communities.
"Cuts in health, in housing, in education – these are all budgets that will come under pressure and are under pressure as a result of recession.
"They are not the right way to move at the present moment."
The First Minister warned that the cuts proposed are more than the entire prison service budget in Scotland, more than the housing budget and just under the whole enterprise and tourism budget.
"Such a removal is massive if it takes place and will be massively damaging to the Scottish economy," the First Minister added.
"It would cost 9,000 jobs if such funds were taken out of the Scottish economy."
In addition half of the jobs created by the Government's £350 million fiscal stimulus would be "removed".