By Daniel Hunter
CBI Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to put measures to aid economic growth at the centre of its upcoming Budget, which Ministers are due to publish next month.
In a 7-page submission sent to Holyrood’s Finance Committee and also to the Finance Secretary, the leading business group urges Scottish Ministers to pursue a bolder approach to reducing the costs of government in order to protect and enhance spending that galvanizes economic growth.
The submission says that the devolved government’s substantial remit and budget, and the freedom they have over how it is spent, means government can play a valuable and pro-active role in stimulating economic activity more effectively. The submission calls on the Scottish Government to:
- Pursue a bolder approach to savings in order to protect economically important areas of spending
- Rule out any further new or additional business tax rises over the remainder of the current Spending Review period
- Invest a greater proportion of public expenditure in areas such as infrastructure and export assistance
- Drive greater competition in the delivery of public services
In addition CBI Scotland is keen to see the council tax freeze continue, but want Ministers to think again about their proposed £36m tax rise on firms with empty commercial premises. It also wants Ministers to aid exporters by providing pump-prime funding for new air routes to overseas business destinations.
“Despite the fiscal stringency which will be required from the public purse over the next few years, there remains a pressing need for the devolved government to sustain investment in and support for the economy," The CBI Scotland Director, Iain McMillan, said.
"The Scottish Government should put economic growth at the very centre of its upcoming spending plans.
"A bolder approach to making savings and promoting competition is needed in order to keep business taxes down and protect important GDP-enhancing investments in infrastructure, skills development, and export support.”
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