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Only way to keep pound in Scotland is to 'stay in the UK'

Speaking in Glasgow the Chancellor has said:

The SNP asserts that it would be in everyone's interests for an independent Scotland to keep the pound as part of a eurozone-style sterling zone.

But the Treasury analysis we are publishing today shows that is not the case. Let's stop speculating and look at the evidence.

Would the rest of the UK family agree to take that risk? Could a situation where an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK share the pound and the bank of England be made to work? Frankly it's unlikely because there is real doubt to the answers of these questions.

In other words the only way to be sure of keeping the pound as Scotland's currency is to stay in the United Kingdom.

– George Osborne, Chancellor

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Scottish Budget update

The Finance secretary has announced a draft budget for 2013 / 2014. John Swinney has said the actions the Scottish Government will take this autumn will provide further investment in construction, skills and the green economy.

John Swinney pledged £180m over two years for construction, skills and employment and a green economic stimulus.

He confirmed a more rapid delivery of the Schools for the Future programme worth £80m and an initiative to create up to 10,000 job opportunities for young Scots.

The Budget keeps the Government's commitments to a council tax freeze, police numbers, no tuition fees, free prescriptions, concessionary travel, and NHS budget protection.

He confirmed a 1% increase for most Government and NHS employees, more support for the low paid and no compulsory redundancies.

"Today I am announcing a Scottish budget for jobs and growth. In difficult economic times this Government is doing everything within its limited power to stimulate Scotland's economy, to invest in our young people, protect households, and support front line services.

"To support the construction industry and inject growth into the economy we will provide an immediate stimulus to the construction industry of £40 million through investment in affordable housing.

"I am also determined to ensure our young people get the best education in the best possible schools. So to further assist the construction sector we will increase the number of schools being built from 55 to 67 bringing forward £80 million investment through NPD.

"A Green Investment Package of £30m over the next three years will help home owners improve energy efficiency, cutting bills and tackling fuel poverty whilst along with investment in low carbon transport supporting our growth industries and helping to meet our climate change targets."

– John Swinney

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