Saturday, 5 December 2009

Tories Reject GARL

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) are once again not best pleased with the Scottish Tories (or the SNP for that matter). They have decided to side with the SNP in not reinstating the £170m funding for the Glasgow Airport Rail Link back into the 2010-11 budget at the Finance Committee in Holyrood yesterday.

The CBI have in recent weeks been attacking the SNPs budget proposals as not being in the best interests of encouraging much needed growth in the Scottish economy and the decision of the Tories on the Committee to side with the SNP on this issue raise their hackles further. The rail link would have provided 1,300 jobs been a boost to Scotland's second cities business sector and was also an integral part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games plans.

Iain McMillan the Scottish director of the CBI said:

"We always knew the Scottish Tories would be the swing vote on the question of whether GARL should be reinstated.

"We are very, very disappointed the Conservatives did not see fit in the committee to vote with Labour.

"We are very disappointed that the Scottish Tory party does not appear to share our view that the Scottish Government should root out waste in these austere times in order to release money to allow strategic transport projects like GARL to go ahead."

So the Tories are like the SNP unable to finding achievable savings to stimulate the economy and pay for much needed projects. Instead they are content with a while range of measures in the budget that are not an effective use of the money that Holyrood has to spend, with £9m of funding estimated to see through the Referendum Bill to a vote in the Parliament, we have an SNP Government, backed implicitly by the Tories, arguing for Labour in Westminster to make cost savings so as not to cut money available to Scotland, while at the same time they are not prepared to prioritise their own funding issues.

It looks like next months budget round could again be a sticky time for the SNP.

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