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Latest economic assessment
The latest Scottish Government economic assessment demonstrates the UK Government was wrong to withdraw its stimulus package and ignore cross party pleas for accelerated expenditure, Finance Secretary John Swinney said today.
Commenting on the State of the Economy Publication, Mr Swinney said:
"There are clear signs that the recession is beginning to ease in Scotland and a fragile recovery may be getting underway.
"Today's publication indicates evidence of growing optimism in the business community and positive results from business surveys. It also suggests that the Scottish labour market is likely to remain stronger relative to the UK for the duration of the recession.
"But it highlights too, that, among the G7 nations, only the UK will withdraw its fiscal stimulus measures in 2010.
"The near universal commitment to continuing stimulus is a reflection that economic prospects remain uncertain across the world. It demonstrates the Chancellor did exactly the wrong thing and jeopardised economic recovery by ignoring Scottish Government calls for further accelerated capital spending in his Pre-Budget Report.
"Over the last two years Scotland - just like countries across the world - has brought forward substantial sums of capital investment to keep our economy moving. We have used the money widely, wisely and to the maximum, investing in projects like the Edinburgh Bio-Quarter and the Fife Energy Park and supporting some 5,000 jobs across Scotland.
"In places like the USA, Canada, Germany and Japan, that vital investment will continue to flow next year. In Scotland it will be stopped at source. We had already earmarked capital spending for new social housing development and for specific projects like the M8 White Cart Viaduct, the A9 Cromarty Bridge refurbishment, and Glasgow subway modernisation. Without further acceleration 5,000 jobs are at risk and I urge the Chancellor to rethink his decision."