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SCOTLAND MUST DELIVER BEST VALUE FROM HISTORIC BUDGET

[ 09-10-2014 ]

Commenting on the draft Scottish budget for 2015-16 published today by the Scottish Government, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said on the following areas:

 

On Tax:

“It is disappointing that the Government remains committed to continuing increases in business rates in Scotland, when a rates freeze until the next revaluation would deliver much needed stability in costs for many businesses.  Instead the Government is seeking an additional £150 million from businesses next year.  In terms of the new taxes at the Government’s disposal, there is little change to the Landfill Tax, which remains fairly consistent across the UK. The new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax favours first time buyers and new rates have now been set for commercial transactions and we will have to wait and see how this affects the market in Scotland.”

 

On Skills & Young People:

“It is good news that the recommendations of the Wood Commission are at the heart of the Government’s future policy on skills and our priority is to upskill and work with our young people – this outlook, as well as the vital role of the private sector, must remain at the forefront of implementation in closing Scotland’s skills gap.”

 

On Infrastructure:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s continued strong support for infrastructure investment and what we would like to see now is targeted support aimed at addressing some of the stubborn bottlenecks in Scotland’s transport system. For example, the Berriedale Braes section of the A9 in Caithness, the single track stretch of railway at Montrose and the capacity issues north of Aberdeen towards Dyce, and the A77 at Maybole.”

 

On Construction & Exporting:

“Construction and house-building are essential to growing our economy and it is welcome news that additional investment is being made by Government in this area.  However, this has come at the expense of investment in helping Scotland’s businesses to export.  We understand that hard decisions need to be made when resources are limited but we must get the most out of the public pound to support exporting activity, and that also means that such support must become more industry led.”

 

ENDS

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