Alex Salmond, the Scottish National Party’s leader at Westminster, told MPs that moving the statement to 9 April would be an abuse of democracy as it will fall during the campaign for the Scottish Parliament.The Tories think that the reason for the delay is to "bury the statement by delivering it a day before parliament breaks up for Easter".
But the SNP has a different angle. Delaying the budget:
is a cynical ploy at best, an abuse of democracy at worst, designed to give Labour an unfair political advantage during the elections for the Scottish Parliament.I rather agree with Alf Young's analysis. The Nationalists are afraid that the budget will be given in the aftermath of an Allied victory in Iraq and a few weeks before the Scottish elections. By opposing the Kosovo bombing, the SNP lost votes in the first election for the Scottish parliament. To make the same mistake twice would look like carelessness. Of course, we don't yet know if they have made a mistake.