Comprehensive Spending Review is only the first stage


22nd October 2010

Commenting on today's Comprehensive Spending Review, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce has called on the UK Government to deliver on its promises to tackle waste and inefficiency and urged the Scottish Government to prioritise investment on the areas of the economy that will generate long-term economic growth and prosperity in its budget next month. 

Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: "There can be no dispute over the need for the Coalition Government to act swiftly and decisively to tackle the budget deficit.  This will lead to the most significant public spending cuts seen for decades. But it is necessary and the measures announced today must be placed in context.  First, UK governments have been spending more than they earn for too long.  That is bad policy and not sustainable.  Second, even with the proposed cuts, expenditure will still rise year-on-year and will dwarf what was spent less than a decade ago."  

Mr Mitchell added: "The Chancellor was right to say that tacking the public sector budget deficit was necessary but isn't on its own enough to transform our long-term economic prospects, and create opportunities for future generations.  We welcome the emphasis that they have placed on investing in skills, transport infrastructure, broadband coverage and science.  George Osborne isn't the first Chancellor of the Exchequer to promise to reduce waste and bureaucracy or prioritise economic growth.  He and the Government need to deliver."       

Mr Mitchell concluded by saying: "Attention will now switch to the Scottish Government and its forthcoming Budget. Scottish Ministers must invest for the long-term as well. We need to significantly improve Scotland's physical and electronic infrastructure: the road, rail, air, sea and digital routes along which we move goods and services and grow knowledge.  Scotland needs world-leading skills and talents in its boardrooms and on its factory floors, which can only be delivered through world-class education provision at every level, from the nursery upwards.  Scotland must invest in growth industries and sectors where we already have a competitive edge.  Academics, politicians, business leaders and commentators of all political persuasions have been talking about these sectors for years, so we know what they are - life sciences, digital media, renewables, tourism, and advanced engineering.  The Scottish Government must give them 100% backing."

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