• February 23, 2016


Poor old Eddie and Allan! The Treasury Minister and the Chief Minister must have felt certain the plaudits would flow in from their ‘god child’ the Chamber of Commerce especially as this budget contained much more that the proverbial silver spoon for them.

They had already had a pre-budget taster with the £50 million Economic Development Fund and associated tax breaks. In addition Allan Bell has been shrieking ‘growth’ over the air waves and on every other opportunity like a demented lunatic. Finally Laurence ‘I love work permits’ Skelly has been dismantling the work permit system so we can keep the labour market nice and cheap and compliant for the ‘Chamber and Co’.

So what have they got to say? Well it starts positive enough with:

“Securing strong foundations for the future is an admirable aim of the Budget”

Then they seem quite pleased that not only are the government given away our money and out jobs but we will pay the cheeky beggers who choose to move here to rip us off – check this:

“Whilst not explicit in the Budget, economic growth needs to go hand in hand with a skilled working population growth to help address the underplayed demographic issues, and we welcome measures to that end, including the Budget announced increase in the relocation expenses concession to £20,000.”

But after that it’s down hill all the way with the punch in the guts for Eddie and Allan saved for the final paragraph:

“Budget headlines include savings proposals of £2million during the next financial year. This, however, only equates to 0.2% of gross expenditure. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem to be a particularly challenging target.

“On a final and more worrying note, projections show that the Public Sector Pension Reserve will be exhausted by 2020/21, from which time deficits will have to be funded from general revenues, currently projected at £63million just for 2021/22. This is untenable and we hope that the upcoming election does not mean that this issue is parked until a new administration is in place. Urgent action is needed to provide a long term affordable solution.”

When you weigh it up they have a bit of a nerve criticising the hapless CM and Treasury Minister for only managing £2 million pounds of savings when they have just committed themselves to giving the business community £50 million from our reserves.

As for relocation packages – well it might be a stretch but I think I would be willing to stump up £20,000 if the Chamber of Commerce would relocate themselves somewhere else and give others the benefit of their wisdom!

The unexpurgated version of the press release is at this link (if you can bear it) plus you will also get the wisdom of their musings at various times over the next few days from ‘State Radio’!


Photo: Allan Bell – his Athol Street chums didn’t seem to impressed with his government’s budget effort. Never mind Allan try hard next time – if there is one!


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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