COMMENTING on Scottish Draft Budget 2017-18 announced yesterday by The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance & the Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP, SCDI’s director of Policy & Place, Claire Mack, said:
“The draft Scottish Budget signals a new era for Scotland in terms of the need to generate increasing and sustainable economic growth – the link between revenue raising and spending is now of material importance and the performance of the Scottish economy is critical.
“To that end, SCDI is pleased to note the investment in Scotland’s infrastructure and support for regional productivity growth in Scotland through the City Deals and work with the three Ayrshire Councils on the development of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.
“The commitment to 100 per cent digital connectivity is especially important and we welcome the consideration which is to be given to matching the business rates reliefs for fibre infrastructure recently announced by the Chancellor, as SCDI has called for.
“The opportunities from the investment in infrastructure and coverage have to be seized to support economic growth across the country and the transformation of public services.
“We recognise that the Finance Secretary has taken some steps to reduce the number of businesses which are affected by the higher business rates in Scotland for medium and larger businesses, but, with many others still paying significantly more than in the rest of the UK, we remain concerned about Scotland’s competiveness for investment. We hope that more fundamental changes will follow the Barclay Review of Business Rates.
“Given the scale of their task and the need to step up efforts on productivity, innovation and internationalisation, as highlighted in the ongoing Enterprise & Skills Review, the Scottish Government needs to explain how these ambitions will be delivered while the budgets of key agencies are further reduced.”
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:
Claire Mack, SCDI firstname.lastname@example.org
Gareth Williams, SCDI, email@example.com
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