Stewart Hosie said that English policies were “dragging Scotland down” and had led to redundancies and failing businesses throughout the country.

John Swinney also challenged Alistair Darling to provide more cash to help drag Scotland out of recession and warned that political parties could not “play games” with budgets.

“There is no Union dividend,” Mr Hosie told the SNP annual conference in Inverness.

Instead the Union has caused Scotland to share 100,000 lost manufacturing jobs and £70 billion of the UK debt, he said.

“We need fiscal powers and we need independence.”

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has reported that the UK will have a 56 billion deficit next year while the economies of Ireland, Finland and Norway will be in surplus.

Even “much-maligned Iceland” will have a deficit of less than half that of the UK’s, Mr Hosie said.

These countries had turned things around because of the financial powers at their disposal - Scotland needs similar powers in order to be part of the “arc of recovery rather than being dragged down by London”, he said.

Mr Swinney made his challenge to the Chancellor early his speech. “We believe there is compelling case for the Chancellor to assist economic recovery by further accelerating capital budgets into 2010-11,” Mr Swinney told delegates.

This will enable more investment in housing, transport and other areas of infrastructure, he said.

“For every £100 million in extra capital spending, we can safeguard 1,500 jobs in our country.

“We call on the Chancellor today to deliver the resources and the opportunity to enable this Government to protect the livelihoods of the people of our country.”

Mr Swinney’s budget warning to Holyrood’s opposition parties follows the parliamentary cliff-hangers of earlier this year, when the minority SNP administration’s Budget was only passed at the second attempt.

The Holyrood opposition “thought there was a way to attack the Budget and not face up to their responsibilities”, Mr Swinney said.

“A week after voting against the Budget the opposition were back but this time they were voting for the Budget.

“They found out the hard way that you can’t play games with the public services of Scotland.

“And I hope these lessons are to the fore in the thinking of opposition parties in forming next year’s Budget.”

Gordon Archer, the SNP candidate for East Renfrewshire, said the Westminster Government had thrown the financial sector into chaos.

“A Scottish Government with the full powers of a normal independent country would not only be able to save our country from the worst aspects of the recession but would be able to heal the wounds and scars brought upon our country by the incompetence of successive London Governments over the past 50 years,” Mr Archer said.

Conference unanimously passed a resolution that blamed Labour policies for the fact that Scotland is in recession.

Delegates also backed a resolution calling for the UK Government to consider Scotland’s interests during negotiations for new European financial regulations.

Nationalist MEP Alyn Smith is the only Scottish representative on a European Parliament Committee looking at financial regulations.

He said: “With hundreds of thousands of quality Scottish jobs in banks, in investment trusts, in accountancy firms, in law firms, in financial services, I think we do have something to say about financial services reform.”

Mr Smith said the financial sector is “the jewel in the economic crown of Scotland”.

But he told delegates: “We saw a catastrophic failure of UK national regulation. The tripartite regulatory system was muddled and unclear.”

Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson said: “The Treasury, as led by the Government in London, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, was not directing the economy in a fashion which would allow our financial services to be secure.”

But Stephen Maxwell, from the Edinburgh Newington branch, said the SNP had not detailed any of the changes it wants made to the finance sector.

“It’s two years since the start of the credit crunch, it’s a year since the implosion of banks, in which two nominally Scottish banks were at the eye of the storm, yet I haven’t been aware of any statement of policy by Scottish ministers about how they believe the financial system needs to be reformed.”


However the Chancellor dismissed Mr Swinney's call while visiting Aberdeen this morning.

The Nationalists have taken "the art of blaming someone else" to new heights, Mr Darling said.

"Scotland has more money this year than it had last, it will have more money next year than it has this," he said.

"Alex Salmond has double the amount of funds, nearly £30 billion, than Donald Dewar had only ten years ago.

"I would've thought that at a time where every family, every business in every country is going through tough times and have to make choices and set priorities, that the Nationalists could do exactly the same.

"They've got more money, it's up to them to budget properly and make sensible plans."

Mr Darling said that the SNP has "over-reached" itself in Government.

"They've over-promised and they can't deliver. They're looking to blame anyone but themselves.

"Remedy lies in their own court.

"They should stop blaming other people and get on with it - sort out the problems that need to be resolved."