Alex Salmond wants credit for not breaking the law

19th November, 2012 6:47 pm

Today Alex Salmond was boasting about the SNP’s record of having zero borrowing, telling ‘Good Morning Scotland’:

“Well the fiscal record of Scotland is of course that John Swinney as Finance Secretary has had zero borrowing over the last five years, which he must be the only Finance Minister in the world, I think with the exception of Norway in Western Europe at least, to have achieved that enviable record. That seems to me a pretty strong track record of success and compared to the UK Chancellors – George Osborne or Alistair Darling, it is an incomparably better record.”

That would be all well and good, except the Scottish government are legally bound to put forward a balanced budget every year. Yet Salmond is boasting about having “zero borrowing”. As Labour’s finance spokesperson Ken Macintosh notes:

“Every year since Swinney and Salmond took office they have spent hundreds of millions of pounds of the Scottish share of UK borrowing, just because it does not show up on the Scottish Government’s books, it is still borrowing; and it still reveals that the Scottish Government spends more than it raises in income.”

But still, Alex Salmond wants credit for not breaking the law…

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  • And in the same breath he will happily complain that the Scottish Govenrment ISNT allowed to borrow money!

  • And in the same breath he will happily complain that the Scottish Govenrment ISNT allowed to borrow money!

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Ken MacIntosh seems remarkably enlightened – and correct – about not spending more than you raise. Elsewhere, I have seen this shocking new idea rightly qualified as “over the life of a Parliament”, to retain some in-year flexibility. Is this the beginning of a trend for Labour, or is he to be purged for having anti-socialist ideals? Goodness, he even alludes to “off-balance sheet” spending, and the need to properly record that as debt. He is almost a tory from the age when the tories made sense on the economy.

    It is a pity other Scottish politicians have not seen it to be necessary to follow this good idea, to the detriment of us all. Now known chiefly from their absence from day to day politics, but still drawing a significant salary.

  • Chilbaldi

    Salmond goes out of his way to find extra ways to spend public money – that’s the real irony here. It’s all part of his tactics to create a wedge between Scotland and England.

  • The man is such a charlatan.

  • Andrew Ben McKay

    The shine is finally coming off the SNP Gov. About time.

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