The Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has urged caution following the Scottish Government's budget, warning that tax rises are not a panacea in developing a sustainable future economy for Scotland

Mark Bevan said:

"This is a progressive, mature and significant use of Scotland's income tax powers. However it comes on the back of a sustained period of weak growth in 2017 of 0.7% for the Scottish Economy. We need to review whether the revenues forecast are actually raised. An independent analysis of the spending priorities needs to be undertaken in light of ring fenced financing and the pressures on public services.

"We need a stronger correlation between our ambitions for society and the ability of our economy to deliver - this is a sign from government to link the two. But we can't tax our way out of our inequalities, labour market deficits, low productivity and stagnating growth. We need longer term thinking on policy, public infrastructure, investment and talent."

"Future growth requires our productivity challenge to be addressed and the initiatives which attract and retain talent will support this. In that context, we welcome the announcements on increasing research and development funding by 70% as well as a commitment to deliver £600m to ensure access to superfast broadband for all homes and businesses by 2021. Support for childcare is essential to ensure that all of our potential workforce can contribute to our future."

"SCDI's priority is to create an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society with change set within the context of wider uncertainties for the Scottish economy."

ENDS

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