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19 December 2023 | Economy

Urgent call for greater clarity from Scottish Government following Budget Announcement

Responding to the 2024-25 Scottish Budget published today by Deputy First Minister Shona Robison, Prosper Chief Executive Sara Thiam said:

“A combination of UK and Scottish Government challenges have meant difficult decisions in today’s Budget. Prosper’s private, public and third sector members will have a range of reactions. However, they share a common view that clarity over economic policies and implementation in areas, such as lifelong learning, infrastructure and innovation, is urgently required from Ministers to generate a stronger future economic position.

“We welcome measures to streamline the planning system to unlock the economic opportunities associated with the renewables sector in Scotland, the investment in supporting port and manufacturing infrastructure for the offshore wind sector, support for innovation and the commitment to reforming public services to become fit for the future.

“However, we are disappointed the reduction in capital investment, reduced support for economic development and the missed economic opportunity this represents.

Ms Thiam added:

“Scotland must be more attractive to leadership and management talent if more of our companies are to grow and compete globally, and more international businesses are to invest in Scotland. Following this latest income tax rise for people earning management-level salaries, the Scottish Government must set out how it will improve the attractiveness of working in Scotland for homegrown and international talent.

“Now that this year’s Budget has been set, the Scottish Government must urgently work with business and civic partners to drive the sustainable economic growth that is a precondition for the social prosperity and better public services we all want across Scotland. This should include a plan for skills delivery reform which is clear for employers and educators.”

November 2023

Scottish Budget 2024 Letter

Scottish Budget 2024 Letter

Our recent letter to the Scottish Government, on behalf of our members, sets out the case for improving Scotland’s long-term economic performance.

As ever with such complex challenges there is no silver bullet, however our letter sets out clear areas of action, which can boost Scotland’s economic recovery. These range from the immediate unlocking of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, which supports businesses of all sizes but most importantly hard-pressed small businesses, to invest in training, and halting the erosion of investment in our colleges and universities which is putting at risk the significant contribution they make to our increased prosperity and competitiveness. The recent Innovation Strategy outlines programmes which, if funded and taken forward, can make a difference. Finally, creating the right environment for investors encourages businesses to invest as well as attracting foreign investors. Getting this right now will set us on the right path to prosperity for the long term.

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