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