Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (24.02.16)

Cameron announces EVEL on Sept 19th 2014 and immediately undermines Devolution promises.

Fiscal Framework agreement reached 

Last night (23 Feb) the fiscal framework deal was reached between Holyrood and Westminster. Business for Scotland notes the success of the deal having no detriment to Scotland’s finances but calls for immediate cross party action on what is seen as “unworkable” tax powers.

Business for Scotland is calling on all parties to seek a mandate for a new, stronger Scotland Bill in their Holyrood manifestos and demand that Scotland gets what was promised in ‘The Vow’.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, CEO of BfS, said: “Yes, we have sprung the fiscal trap and it can only be good news that there will be no detriment to Scotland. But, it’s still not the devolution we were promised and it does not deliver the economic and social levers essential for real growth and equality for Scotland.

“You just have to look at the unworkable 1p tax rise suggested by Labour, which clearly demonstrates the limited nature of the proposed tax powers. There is no sensible way to actually use these powers.

“Businesses and people in Scotland want real devolution and the parties should consider a unified call from Holyrood for a complete re-evaluation of the powers.”

Ian McDougall BfS finance spokesperson and business owner added:
“The fiscal framework is actually more important than the powers in the Scotland Bill, as the new powers are severely limited and inflexible and don’t constitute a full enough range of economic and social levers to deliver real growth and equality for Scotland.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 09.42.02Port of Dundee ambitions to double workers 

The Port of Dundee’s owner has revealed ambitions to double the number of people working there to around 1,400 through a £10m investment aimed at attracting North Sea decommissioning and offshore wind energy-related activity.

Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond unveiled plans for a major expansion project that the company believes is the biggest single investment in the history of the Port of Dundee.

Mr Hammond projected that this hoped-for doubling of employment at the port could be achieved over the next five to seven years.

Full story in The Herald.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 09.49.26CityFibre rolled out in Glasgow 

Businesses in Glasgow looking to vastly improve their internet speeds and digital capabilities are invited to register their interest online as CityFibre begins its detailed route planning for the city’s gigabit speed, pure fibre network.

Upon completion last year close to 7,000 businesses will be able to access the network, which will support speeds more than 100 times faster than the national average.

The Gigabit City fibre network will be CityFibre’s third in Scotland, following in the footsteps of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The network build is much needed as YouGov research last year found that over half of IT decision makers in Scotland believe the country’s broadband infrastructure is inferior to other parts of the UK.

Glasgow businesses can register their interest at

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 09.59.55Irvine job creation with GlaxoSmithKline expansion 

A £70 million expansion which will make antibiotics for an extra 100 million patients and create 55 new jobs has been unveiled by GlaxoSmithKline at their new facility in Irvine.

The expansion is part of GSK’s £200m investment in Scotland since 2013 between sites in Irvine and Montrose.

Scottish Enterprise has pledged £1.5m in grant funding towards the cost of the expansion which will lead to a 35% boost in capacity of the plant and help meet the growing demand from the developing world and emerging markets for penicillin.

The First Minister and Sir Andrew Witty GSK CEO comment on the expansion.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 10.10.51FM: Tax powers will be used to promote enterprise 

The First Minister made an immediate pledge last night (Tuesday 23rd Feb) to use Scotland’s new tax powers for the country’s “long term economic benefit”.

She said that the Scottish Government has used existing tax powers to good effect, citing the Small Business Bonus Scheme, Land and Building Transactions Tax and the Landfill Tax.

The FM said that the proposed new tax powers can be used to complement Holyrood’s existing powers.

She confirmed that the Scottish Government will announce detailed plans on local taxation next week, which will propose incentives for councils to boost economic growth by assigning them a share of income tax revenues.

Addressing an audience at the David Hume Institute the FM said:

“Taxation policy is, at heart, inseparable from questions about the sort of society we want to see – the sort of country we want to live in.

“Our approach to taxation recognises the interdependence of greater equality and higher growth; of encouraging enterprise and promoting fairness.”

More on the FM’s address on Daily Business.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.33.45Business for Scotland and The National Columnists Glasgow Q&A 

Business for Scotland and The National are hosting the second of our National Columnists Q&A events in Glasgow this evening (24 Feb).

Business for Scotland will be the lead business voice for Scotland to remain in the EU and talking in-depth about the upcoming EU referendum on 23rd June and answering questions from the audience on a wide range of political, economic, business and social issues will be Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, Cat Boyd, Vonny Moyes and Paul Kavanagh (aka the wee ginger dug). The event will be chaired by Richard Walker, consulting editor of The National.

You can watch the event live on our Live Stream.


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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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