Scotland business

CBI Scotland urges ministers to aid economic growth

Factory worker
Image caption CBI Scotland says ministers can play "a valuable and pro-active role" in stimulating economic activity

Business leaders have urged the Scottish government to place measures to aid economic growth "at the very heart" of its upcoming Budget and three-year spending review.

CBI Scotland said it wanted Scottish ministers to pursue "a bolder approach" to reducing the costs of government.

This would protect and enhance spending that galvanized economic growth, the group argues.

Its views came in an 11-page submission to Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Ministers are due to publish the Budget and spending review this autumn.

In its submission, CBI Scotland said the election of a single-party majority administration at Holyrood provided "a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity to do things differently and to challenge sacred cows".

It added that the devolved government could play "a valuable and pro-active role" in stimulating economic activity, particularly in the early part of the spending review period.

Aid measures

CBI Scotland called for a raft of measures to aid firms and growth, including removing barriers which prevented firms competing to provide public services and bringing forward proposals for enterprise zones.

It also called for ministers to rule out of the use of new fiscal powers to increase taxes on business.

Commenting on the submission, CBI Scotland director Iain McMillan said: "Despite the fiscal stringency which will be required over the next decade, there remains a pressing need for the devolved government to sustain investment in and support for the economy.

"The Scottish government should put economic growth at the very heart of its upcoming spending plans."

He added: "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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