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, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • 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.

  • 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 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 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 5.

    Editorial Plan MacB-


    "Worse than before"

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


Comments 5 of 436


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