Devolution & Economic Growth

23 Sep 2014

Enhanced Holyrood powers must be aimed at economic growth

Scotland's leading business, industry and employer organisations have today issued a joint statement urging the Scottish and UK governments to focus any new devolution settlement on driving economic growth.

The statement - issued by the Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, CBI, Scottish Financial Enterprise, SCDI, ScotlandIS, Chemical Sciences Scotland, Scotch Whisky Association, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Engineering, Scottish Building Federation and ICAS - also underlines the business community's commitment to work constructively with both governments to deliver a more prosperous, competitive Scotland.

It reads:

"Collectively, our membership covers every sector of the economy, corner of the country and size of business.  With all eyes now on the future, we need to focus on how we can come together to make Scotland the best place to live, work and, above all, do business.  We need to move forward to realise our growth ambitions, create more jobs, increase investment and ensure that Scotland is open for business.

"We all recognise that business and entrepreneurship has a crucial role to play in delivering the fairer and more prosperous Scotland for which so many expressed a keen desire during the referendum campaign.  Not only do we create jobs, opportunities and revenues, a life in business can open up a whole world of possibilities for those with the creativity and drive. 

"With the Scottish Parliament set to become a more powerful force in our economy, the touchstones of the new devolution settlement must be boosting business and growth. It is also really important for business that whatever settlement is now agreed is stable and sustainable, and seen to be so.   In the weeks and months to come, we envisage playing a full, constructive part in making this happen - and that must include a discussion around how any extra powers should be used to make Scottish business more competitive.

"The UK and Scottish governments both have a huge influence on the business environment.  We hope that both will continue to engage with Scottish business, actively and visibly, on the key issues within their remit.  In some areas where responsibility is shared between both governments, such as exporting, there is now an ideal opportunity for both to put business and prosperity at the top of the priority list and work together to streamline and co-ordinate these services."

The signatories are:

Bryan Buchan, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Sandy Dobbie, Chairman, Chemical Sciences Scotland

Atholl Duncan,  Executive Director, ICAS

David Frost, Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association

Vaughan Hart, Managing Director, Scottish Building Federation

Owen Kelly, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise

David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

Ross Martin, Chief Executive, SCDI

Iain McMillan, Director, CBI

Polly Purvis, Chief Executive, ScotlandIS

David Watt, Executive Director, IoD Scotland

Andy Willox, Scottish Policy Convener, Federation of Small Businesses