Scottish Lib Dems offer to “get round the table” with SNP over budget

Tavish Scott, Lib Dem leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, has offered to open discussions with the SNP government in Scotland to resolve the budget breakdown triggered by the Holyrood parliament’s rejection of the SNP’s budget for 2009-10.

Though the Tories fell in line with the SNP, the 16-strong Lib Dem group, together with Labour and the Greens, voted against – the budget was ultimately defeated on the casting vote of the presiding officer. But this morning the BBC reports:

The Liberal Democrats want discussions with the Scottish Government about what concessions might gain their support for a revised budget. Party leader Tavish Scott has hinted he might be prepared to drop his party’s demand for a 2p cut in income tax. His comments were welcomed by Finance Secretary John Swinney, who said he was hopeful the deadlock could be resolved. …

Mr Scott told BBC Radio Scotland: “We need to move forward and build a better budget for Scotland. I recognise the situation we are now in. Obviously we’d like to make [the 2p] argument, but we want to be constructive about this – we are where we are now. The government have got to get a budget through in short order, but we can certainly make progress if we get round the table and have a real discussion about finding a way to make this budget respond to the challenges this country faces.”

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