In the House of Commons today, Jo pressed the Westminster Government to put aside party politics and work more closely with the Scottish Government to combat the recession.
In a question to the Minister for Scotland, Jo highlighted that unemployment in East Dunbartonshire has increased by 87% since March last year. She suggested that those people struggling to find jobs would be unimpressed by the spectacle of Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond letting party political spats get in the way of co-operation to prevent further job losses in Scotland.
The Prime Minister and First Minister are reported to have met only twice in the past year to discuss plans for economic recovery in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has claimed that Alistair Darling’s budget will result in a £497million cut to the Scottish budget, threatening 9,000 jobs. While the First Minister described the Westminster budget process as being characterised by “inefficiency and total incompetence”, Mr. Darling has claimed that Scotland can absorb the spending cuts.
Commenting, Jo said:
“It’s almost frightening that while we are facing the most severe economic recession for decades, it was not until February this year that the First Minister and the Prime Minister actually met to discuss what to do about it. Unemployment in East Dunbartonshire has almost doubled in the past year, and it is not at all reassuring to those who are struggling to find work that the two governments appear to be more interested in political point-scoring than in working together to create jobs in Scotland.”
The text of Jo’s questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland appear below:
Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) (LD): What discussions he has had with the First Minister on the effect on Scotland of the economic downturn. 
Jo Swinson: I suggest that our constituents watching these exchanges are hardly likely to be impressed by what they see on the television. Given that unemployment is rising-it has increased by 87 per cent. in my constituency alone in the past year-and people are worried about losing their homes, does the Secretary of State think it would be better if less time was spent bickering and engaging in political point scoring between Westminster and Holyrood, and more time was spent on working together to help Scots to deal with the effects of the recession?