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'Decisive action is needed now' says Scotland's Finance Secretary

The Finance Secretary for Scotland, John Swinney, has given his post-budget reaction:

“The Chancellor has downgraded every economic growth forecast he has made and as a consequence of his policies public sector debt is rising. Today the Chancellor should have offered a decisive injection of new capital to fuel economic recovery.

"He has however cut the hard cash the Scottish Government has available to spend and applied a “straight-jacket” of loan and equity facilities over which the Scottish Government will have no discretion and which will have to be repaid at a later date.

"Decisive action to stimulate economic growth is needed now."

– Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney

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Shelter Scotland 'disappointed' with Chancellor

“We are disappointed the Chancellor did not take this opportunity to scrap the ill-conceived Bedroom Tax and whilst any new investment in social housing is welcome, today’s Budget falls well short of the 100,000 homes proposed by the CBI and British Chambers of Commerce.

“Scotland should see some additional investment following today’s Budget and we now call on the Scottish Government to use all of this extra money to invest in a major housing programme and build at least 10,000 new social homes a year to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good.”

– Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland

Michael Moore welcomes tax cuts for Borderers

“Raising the tax free part of a person’s income to £10,000 next April was on the front page of the Lib Dem’s 2010 manifesto and I am extremely proud that today we have delivered.

“This measure means that thousands of Borderers will receive a further tax cut next year, on top of the tax cuts they have already received since 2010, totalling £700.

"It will put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Borderers and make the tax system fairer for those on low and middle incomes.

“Scrapping of the autumn fuel duty increase announced today will provide another helping hand to Borders families.”

– Scottish Secretary of State, Michael Moore

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How the Chancellor's Budget plans to help business

  • New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country
  • Around 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year
  • Small firms will be given help through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges
  • The Capital Gains Tax holiday will be extended
  • Corporation tax to be reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015
  • Small company and main rates of corporation tax merged at 20p
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