SNP resubmit Budget Bill

The Scottish Government has re-tabled the Budget Bill and put forward plans to ensure a budget for Scotland by mid-February. 

The move comes as First Minister Alex Salmond warned the Labour party of the
impact their reckless decision to block the budget would have.

Without the £1.8 billion of increased spending in the budget, 35,000 jobs
could be at risk along with a council tax freeze, increases in
NHS spending and the abolition of rates for around 120,000 small
businesses.

Speaking at First Ministers Questions Alex Salmond said:

 "The budget failed because the Labour Party as the principal
opposition party decided to put their own narrow interests before employment and
jobs for Scotland.

"£1.8 billion is 35,000 jobs - and sooner or later the Labour Party had
better realise, as the first ever opposition party to vote against a budget at
Stage 3 in this Parliament, it's 35,000 jobs they are jeopardising."

In the crucial vote, Tories and independent MSP Margo MacDonald backed the SNP but the two Green MSPs withdrew their backing shortly before the vote.

Finance Secretary John Swinney had said he would bring the Budget Bill back to parliament "within days".

"I think the opposition parties have to think long and hard about the real uncertainty and damage that they have done to the public services of Scotland as a consequence of the decision that's been arrived at tonight," Mr Swinney said.

First Minister Alex Salmond has said his party could not remain in office if it could not get its budget through.

"We think it's our obligation and responsibility to have another go at the budget. But you can't do that indefinitely. Therefore if the budget can't pass next time, then the government couldn't stay in office."

Mr Salmond said under such circumstances an election would not be automatic, with this depending on whether or not a new administration could be formed.
However, he added:

"There's also the question that the people in Scotland might like themselves to decide who governs the country in an election.
"For that reason I think it's wise and sensible to put the SNP on an election footing.

"I don't think it's a good idea to have an election in the middle of a recession when we're battling economic circumstances.

"But equally a government can't stay in office unless it gets its budget through.

"So we're facing our responsibilities by taking the decision to resubmit the budget, by making another attempt to build consensus, by appealing to the Parliament for that sense of responsibility that will get budget through. That's what we'll do."

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