THE Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) welcomes Chancellor Phillip Hammond MP’s drive to invest in infrastructure and boost productivity; while highlighting that the forecasts of lower growth, following the vote to leave the EU, reinforce the need for an agreement which protects access to the single market.
Commenting, SCDI’s director of Policy & Place, Claire Mack, said: “The economic outlook presented as part of the Autumn Statement showed that growth forecasts have been significantly reduced following the UK’s vote to leave the EU and the resulting lower value of the pound.
“Those projections, while not unexpected, highlight why it was important for the Chancellor to provide as much stability and focus on the economy as possible.
“In SCDI’s blueprint, ‘From Fragile to Agile’, boosting productivity was highlighted as a key area we needed to address in order to grow our competitiveness, and it was welcome to hear his efforts to focus on this structural weakness of the economy though investment in transport and digital infrastructure, including 5G, and in innovation.
“That investment will see an additional £800m being provided to the Scottish Government for capital funding and this should be used to deliver – and accelerate where possible – improvements which grow the economy and, with Holyrood’s new fiscal responsibilities, generate revenues for the Scottish Budget.
“The Chancellor also announced 100 per cent business rates relief for five years for digital infrastructure and SCDI would urge the Scottish Government to match this commitment to help put in place the connectivity which businesses in Scotland need to utilise high-speed digital technologies.
“With City Deals agreed for Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, it was welcome to hear progress is being made on a deal for Edinburgh; and that that they will work with others to develop proposals that cover all of Scotland’s city regions through the Tay Cities and Stirling & Clackmannanshire deals.
“SCDI hope that progress can be made on these by the Budget and that we can see a commitment to the Ayrshire Growth Deal, and the development of other deals covering areas such as Moray.
“SCDI look forward to continuing dialogue with both governments as we strive to improve Scotland’s sustainable economic growth and protect access to the single market for our exporters.”
Notes to editors:
SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is an independent and inclusive economic development network which seeks to influence and inspire Government and key stakeholders with our ambitious vision to create sustainable economic growth for Scotland. SCDI’s diverse and influential membership – across the public, private and social economy sectors – forms a gathering of knowledge, experience and talent which provides a dynamic and creative force for change.
The SCDI Blueprint policy Report ‘From Fragile to Agile’ can be accessed at this link:
For further information, please contact our SCDI policy team:
Fraser Grieve, SCDI T: 01463 218666 firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Mack, SCDI T: 0141 222 9744 email@example.com
Gareth Williams, SCDI T: 07917 103997 firstname.lastname@example.org
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