Salmond calls for money for investment in 'Plan MacB'

David Cameron, Alex Salmond Alex Salmond thinks David Cameron should listen to his advice and prioritise capital spending


"Worse than before"

It was the day the prime minister and his deputy broke the news to the electorate - if, that is, they weren't already aware of it - that the economy is not on course. The global economic news is worse than expected a few weeks ago, unemployment is higher and growth is going to be much lower.

Adding his voice to those calling for a change of strategy is Scotland's first minister.

With unemployment falling in Scotland as it rises in the rest of the UK Alex Salmond says the Chancellor should listen to his advice and follow what he calls "Plan MacB".

The Scottish government have prioritised capital spending and want George Osborne to give them the money to invest in building more houses and a series of small road projects.

Salmond, an economist by training, argues that the markets will not take fright at an increase in investment spending designed to stimulate growth.

He also argues that his approach to cutting public spending - which includes a promise of no compulsory redundancies - has helped maintain consumer confidence. He fears that the looming confrontation over public sector pensions risks shattering that.

Downing Street insists that any plan B which involves more spending is a plan for bankruptcy.

They say that now - with the German chancellor and the French president trying to stave off a Greek default - is the worst possible time to talk of changing course.

Nevertheless, there is a desperate search behind the scenes for ways to get the economy growing again and the pressure on them is only going to mount.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 16.


    Apart from the oil industry and Gordon McDoom making sure that two pointless moneypit aircraft carriers are built in his constituency, the fact they're supporting a population of 4 million or less compared to 40+ million south of the border, the fact that theres a significant amount employed by a burgeoning public sector... take your pick Jon, take your pick. See beyond the end of your nose

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.


    Your tongue will stick like that if you keep ramming it into your cheek. You'll look like you're sucking an Everlasting Gobstopper.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.


    Jon, the two question for the Labour deficit deniers is: Why when we were first into the global recession and last out of it, was it the global economy's fault? Now when the rest of the global economy is going into freefall, why is it the Tories' fault.

    As usual, nonsensical lefty politicking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Perhaps if Mr Salmond had not refused to fund changes to the PAYE system in 2010, Scotland would bow be in a position to raise it's income tax by 3% to help pay for a Plan MacB?

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    It's an embarrassing question for the tory stagnation deniers -

    If the collapse of the English recovery is due to Obama, Greek debt, wrong kind of snow or whatever ... how come the same disaster isn't happening in scotland ?

    Of course, the other embarassing question is why UK growth had dropped to zero in Q4 2010, months before the US/Europe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Scotland England.
    Same language...completely different cultures.
    Hence the political oblivion of the Tories in Scotland.

    Roll on the independence vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Why did he had to do this? What ddi you get for voting them unemployment and the result is riots! Cam&clegg have made almost all of the country redundant. They could have made cuts over the years and gradually put these spending bans in place. why just he had to cut everything in one go?

    Conservatives have broken the back of the country and they are responsible for a lost generation of young.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Labour were partially responsible for the problem but that doesn't mean that what they are saying now is not part of the solution
    Osborne was going to reach this point where cuts were going to shift from being the answer to the problem
    Investment spending and cutting waste,reducing tax loopholes,increasing taxes on those that can afford it and lowering taxes on those that can't is a way forward

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    There is already a move to bring forward (presented as not to let slip back) capital public works which is a Plan 'B' that dare not speak its name. There will be no overt Plan 'B' to cover up the fault lines in the Coalition and to save the face of a failed Chancellor. Nevertheless nearly everybody seems to fall for the false line that cutting public expenditure is the same as cutting the deficit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    If Salmond is an Economist , How come he gives everything away for Free ?
    How does he manage Free Tuition fees , Free prescriptions

    and now Building Houses and Roads ?
    are they going to be Free as well ?

    the Scottish Economy is entirely state dependent , we need to encourage people to work for them selves , not join the huddle waiting to change a light bulb

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    "The Scottish government have prioritised capital spending and want George Osborne to give them the money to invest in building more houses and a series of small road projects."

    Doesn't Scotland already get a much larger share of spending than the UK, because of the Barnett formula?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Editorial Plan MacB-


    "Worse than before"

    After the last bizarre attempt, is this the shape of all story leads now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Spending cuts have sent our economy into a death spiral, as many Keynesian economists predicted last year. The trouble is that we are led by intellectual pygmies, who never understood the cause of the deficit in the first place (I include some Labour politicians in that). Alex Salmond is exactly right. We need a new deal: public investment rather than public 'spending'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Spend more, increase the amount of artificial jobs in the public sector.... sounds to me the sort of plan that got us into trouble in the first place. On top of free prescriptions & free university tuition, how Mr Salmond is going to balance the books? By the time it comes home to roost he'll be long gone or is he banking on Scots independence & North Sea oil revenues to pay for it? Big mistake.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Job creation and growth - needs to be moved up the priorities list to near the top; if that's changing course, a Plan B, then so be it, let's have it. I have a lot of sympathy for George Osborne - it's a tough climate he's been pitched into, he'll lose face by changing policy, and his shadow, Ed Balls, can be very annoying - but the interests of the economy and the British people must come first.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    How to shift a political deficit would be a good thing for Cameron to ask Salmond, the stand-out politician in the UK.

    No matter what advice Salmond has, and it will clearly have a tartan bias, the Torylition policy of replacing 110k public sector jobs with 40k private sector jobs is clearly a crock of manure.

    Osborne clearly needs whipped into shape.


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