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THE Government will not flinch from the "hard choices on public spending" needed to bring Britain's national deficit back down after the country emerges from recession, Chancellor Alistair Darling pledged today.
THE money the Scottish Government has to spend on core services, including health, education and transport, will fall by almost £300 million next year – the first drop since devolution.
THOUSANDS of workers across the country are to face pay rise restrictions under new austerity measures being issued by the Scottish Government.
FINANCE Secretary John Swinney last night asked that UK ministers release a cash pot worth almost £150 million to Scotland.
THERE are fears up to a dozen more post offices could close in Edinburgh if the company loses a vital service.
ALEX Salmond is to ask a cash-rich Arab state to stump up billions of pounds to pay for desperately-needed upgrades to Scotland's creaking road, rail and power networks.
ALEX Salmond's plans for a local income tax in Scotland suffered have a serious blow after a senior UK government minister issued an unprecedented formal warning of a £750 million black hole in the Scottish Government's plans.
JOHN Swinney unveiled two last-minute concessions yesterday in a final attempt to secure cross-party support for his Budget.
IN THE end, the howl of delight said it all. Alex Salmond had won the biggest parliamentary battle of his career – piloting the first SNP Budget through the Scottish Parliament.
CONSERVATIVES in the Scottish Parliament were last night celebrating what they regarded as a clear and significant victory.
THE minority SNP government tonight passed its biggest test yet as the Scottish Parliament backed the £30 billion budget.
SCOTTISH civil servants have spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers' money on a series of junkets promoting the controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
GOVERNMENT departments have spent almost half a million pounds on Christmas festivities in the last five years, according to official figures.
EXTRA cash is being handed out to help local authorities fund adaptations to the homes of elderly and disabled people so they can live independently.
MORE than £1 million in public money was spent on first-class rail tickets by a single government department over the past year, it emerged last night.
CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling will risk the wrath of the business community this week when he announces only limited concessions to his controversial plans to reform capital gains tax.
PUBLICATION of an economic strategy and a budget for the next three years by the Scottish government has made this a busy week for the commentariat. I want to offer the apparently perverse comment that although Alex Salmond and his ministeriat have complained loudly that they haven't got enough money to do all the things that they think need to be done, this might, oddly enough, help them to achieve their economic aims.