Business and the Scottish Parliament
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FINANCE secretary John Swinney today threw down the gauntlet to opposition MSPs as the SNP's budget negotiations went to the wire.
ENTERPRISE Minister Jim Mather is putting Edinburgh front and centre of the Scottish National Party's growth vision, saying the capital's financial services, life sciences and tourism sectors were "key factors" to be leveraged for Scotland's "continuous improvement".
LEADERS of Scotland's businesses yesterday moved to deny reports that their plans to present a united front in talks between the "Group of Six" business organisations with the enterprise minister, Jim Mather, today had been hampered by disagreements.
BUSINESS leaders yesterday backed Alex Salmond's aim of boosting Scotland's economic growth, but warned that he could only succeed if he pressed ahead with key transport projects and cut the public-sector workforce.
THE Holyrood election indicated that many in the business community were unhappy with the outgoing Executive's commitment to economic growth.
A LEADING business group is demanding an independent review of the fiscal powers of the Scottish Executive after a survey of its members showed 90 per cent believe devolved government has been ineffective in growing the economy.
EDINBURGH is driving Scotland's economy. If the capital's growth slowed to the same rate as the rest of the country, there would be 92,000 fewer jobs.
NEW administrations at both national and local level have given us the opportunity of a fresh start - invigorated policy, renewed energy and the option of doing things differently.
SOME of the biggest names in Scottish business, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life and Scottish & Newcastle, have joined forces to attack the Executive’s policy of distributing cash raised through business rates in Edinburgh to other areas of the country.
LABOUR'S handling of the Scottish economy received a desperately needed boost at the weekend, as the Ernst & Young ITEM Club's chief Scottish economic adviser described the service sector under the current Scottish Executive as "very buoyant", and said the housing sector was continuing to outpace most UK regions.
SCOTTISH Chambers of Commerce has announced the appointment of a new senior team which says it is aiming to turn the organisation into the only voice for Scottish business.
A LEADING figure in the £20 million Scottish digital games industry has slammed the Scottish Executive for excluding industry representatives from the board of Creative Scotland, announced last month.
WHAT is the view of Scotland's leading companies in the run-up to the Holyrood election? "Why aren't they coming out against separation and in favour of the union?" I am increasingly asked. With the SNP ahead in the opinion polls and the election result wide open, Labour and the unionists are counting on heavyweight support from Scotland's top business people to bear down on the nationalist challenge.
THE Federation of Small Business Scotland yesterday called for the small business rates relief scheme (SBRRS) to be doubled, meaning that businesses with a rateable value of less than £3,500 would be taken out of the rates system completely.
NIRVANA for any business comes when customers have to justify to themselves not signing up to your service or consuming your products.
SNP enterprise spokesman Jim Mather yesterday claimed that new figures obtained under Freedom of Information from the Scottish Executive's finance department showed that First Minister Jack McConnell's abolition of the uniform business rate with the rest of the UK cost Scottish businesses an extra £900 million between 2001 and 2007.
THE head of a leading business group has called on Scotland's politicians to fight the 2007 Holyrood elections on the basis of devolved matters and not get bogged down in constitutional reform.