Is government doing all it can for business and the economy?

Delivering policies for better growth now
We believe that a successful, competitive economy is the bedrock on which a prosperous and just nation will be built. Delivering that success is at the heart of our vision for Scotland. Our approach will put Scotland in control.

It will deliver economic prosperity and improve public services. It will give us the opportunity to generate wealth and release the potential of a modern, prosperous, competitive nation.

Although the SNP is clear that we need the full powers of Independence to deliver long term economic growth, that does not mean that we would not act within the limited powers of the devolved Parliament. The SNP backs the overall aim of ‘Smart Successful Scotland’, and will provide the continuity and unity of purpose required to support the skills and research and development required to allow Scotland to compete in terms of the quality of what we produce. All parties need to work together to deliver a consensus for growth.

But we will do more. We will reduce Scottish business rates to below the UK rate within the first term of our government. The first stage of funding this will come from the resources released by the replacement of local enterprise companies in the Scottish Enterprise area with around half the number of regional offices, and other measures will be taken to fund this change. Our cut in business rates will be a strong signal to business that we will be focused on competitiveness when we obtain full powers. Reducing business tax to create a competitive edge to Scottish companies will be a top priority of an independent Scotland.

We will launch an aggressive strategy to win business and investment for Scotland. Initially focusing on the top 500 UK companies with branches here, we will press the economic case for opening headquarters in Scotland, to help increase or at the very least consolidate their market share. And we will not stop with the UK; our strategy will encompass all our competitor nations and regions.

In managing Scotland’s finances we will operate within strict financial disciplines to ensure we don’t beggar future generations as successive London governments have.

We will establish a Scottish Fund for Future Generations, modelled on the Norwegian Oil Fund, to invest a share of the North Sea revenues. This will ensure a sustained income stream to finance public service investment well into the next century.

Too many of our brightest people have to leave Scotland to succeed. We will look at ways of encouraging these people to return. We will also examine ways of encouraging skilled migrants to settle in Scotland, improving the tax base and wealth creating capacity of our economy, by building a nation where people with skills, capital and ambition can find a home.

And we will launch, for the first time, an aggressive and effective strategy to market Scotland abroad.

These steps are necessary to give Scotland’s wealth creators the competitive advantage they seek and secure the long-term investment in public services our country needs.

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