HOSIE COMMENTS ON REPORTS THAT UK ECONOMY WILL SHRINK
Commenting on warnings by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the UK is heading towards a “severe” economic downturn in the UK in 2009, SNP Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“The Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report is not so much unfolding as unravelling.
“Yesterday, Alistair Darling said the UK economy would decline by up to 1.25% next year, but added incredibly that the UK was ‘better placed’ than other countries to cope with the downturn.
“Less than 24 hours later, and the OECD are warning that economic output in the UK will fall by 1.1% next year – more than any other major G7 country.
“Indeed, in the Chancellor’s own Pre-Budget Report contains further forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which foresees a 1.3% fall in output in 2009.
“So the Chancellor says we are well placed, while the OECD and the IMF both say the recession is going to be deepest and darkest in the UK.
“In contrast, yesterday’s Ernst and Young ITEM forecast said that Scottish GDP would only contract by 0.4% and Scottish growth is set to outstrip growth in the UK by 2010.
“The Chancellor’s assertion that the UK is better placed to weather the financial storm than other countries is simply wrong. The most recent IMF forecast for Sweden, Finland and Norway – three small, independent countries – shows growth.
“The Unionist parties claim that Scotland is better off as part of the United Kingdom. The evidence would suggest not.”