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[ 03-02-2010 ]

Commenting on the passage of the Budget Bill through the Scottish Parliament, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

"This year's Budget Bill has been the subject of much discussion since its draft was published last September.  There is no doubt that the Scottish Government have faced tight financial strictures in framing this budget, and the results have to be viewed in that context.
"It remains disappointing and worrying that a major infrastructure project such as the Glasgow Airport Rail Link has been lost as a result of this budget.  This would have formed a important potential link in the Scottish transport network and it is of concern that the development of our transport infrastructure has been one of the first casualties of public spending cuts.  This cannot be allowed to be repeated in future years.
"Despite this setback, there remain a number of positives from the budget.  The news that the boiler scrappage scheme will be implemented in full in Scotland is welcome, as is the news that there will be additional resources available for education and training.  The increased thresholds of the Small Business Bonus Scheme are also welcome, although judgement must be reserved on this until we know the full details of this year's Business Rates revaluation.  Our priority is to ensure that every business who benefits from the Small Business Bonus Scheme now will continue to benefit under the new rates regime in April."