SNP brings capital city bonus

Lothians SNP MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville today welcomed the SNP's capital city budget boost of £3.5 million in recognition of Edinburgh's role as Scotland's capital in the 2009/10 Scottish Government budget.

This comes alongside £15 million of investment, brought forward in today's budget, by Scottish Enterprise in the Edinburgh bio-quarter adjoining the Royal Infirmary at Little France.

Ms Somerville said;

"The SNP Government has delivered a capital city bonus for Edinburgh.

"We are Scotland's capital and we are proud to be Scotland's capital. That privilege has always brought extra costs and this recognition by the SNP of the role Edinburgh plays is a major step forward.

"Edinburgh has won Capital City status after only eighteen months of SNP Government and council administration. In contrast despite eight years of Labour administration at Holyrood including five city based Labour Ministers and a Labour council Edinburgh was consistently denied recognition as Scotland's gateway.

"From Hogmanay to the Edinburgh Festival, international, political and royal events to the expression of free speech and the presence of our Parliament Edinburgh fulfils a role as the capital and as a gateway to the rest of Scotland for many of our international visitors.

"After years of Labour refusal to acknowledge the unique position Edinburgh holds as Scotland's capital and the accompanying expense this £3.5 million commitment is a vindication of Edinburgh's support for the SNP.

"I now hope all parties across the Parliament will back this essential support for our capital city."

Following the announcement that Scottish Enterprise is to bring forward £15 million of investment in Edinburgh's bioquarter, adjoining the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Ms Somerville added;

"Today's budget is a budget for sustainable economic growth that will see Scotland and Edinburgh through the hard times ahead. John Swinney's commitment to the city's future with £15 million for Edinburgh's bio quarter is a serious investment in jobs, economy and industry in Edinburgh.

"Alongside the creation of an apprenticeship in life sciences this investment highlights the SNP's commitment to Scotland and Edinburgh as a centre of scientific excellence.

"Today's decision has been a long time in coming for Edinburgh but after eight years of Labour it has taken only eighteen months of an SNP Government to see Edinburgh given the Capital City Status it so richly deserves."

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