First Minister Alex Salmond has called for more UK capital investment as he launched a £500 million roads improvement programme.

He spoke out the day before Chancellor George Osborne is due to deliver his Budget to MPs at Westminster and said the Chancellor should take the "road to recovery" by announcing long-term measures, rather than short-term promises, in the run-up to the independence referendum.

Mr Salmond made the call at a ground-breaking event for the scheme to improve the M8, M73 and M74 in central Scotland, which he says will create 1,000 jobs.

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"While we are seeing promising signs of economic growth, the fact that we are not even half-way through the UK Government's spending cuts programme, with austerity now projected to continue until 2018-19, underlines the failure of the UK Government's approach to the economy," he said.

"In his final Budget before the referendum George Osborne may be tempted to offer Scotland a series of short-term promises, but this will not compensate for the impact of decades of mismanagement of our economy by the UK Government.

"With the limited economic powers available to the Scottish Government we have prioritised vital infrastructure projects like this one, and with future investment in similar projects set to top £8 billion between 2014-15 and 2015-16, we will continue to focus on delivering a faster recovery in Scotland."