Lib Dems aim to scrap Scottish Enterprise

Scotland's economic development framework is "a mess" and reforms should begin with the scrapping of government business body Scottish Enterprise, the Liberal Democrats have demanded.

Lib Dem finance and economy spokesman Jeremy Purvis attacked Scotland's multiple economic development bodies as confusing and unwieldy for businesses.

He said: "In coming to office, the Scottish Government stated its intention of streamlining the economic development framework in Scotland, but they didn't put in place any benchmarking to determine whether this created any higher growth."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Lib Dems believe there should a distinction between national and local development bodies.

At a local level, they have proposed the the creation of a "one-stop-shop" for tourism, business support, lending and skills in the form of a regional development bank.

Mr Purvis said: "The bank would be capitalised by partnering with a private sector partner, looking at the best practice internationally of the Canadian Business Development Bank or the Austrian Tourism Development Bank, and we've seen within the UK Banking On Essex as a good example."

At a national level, the Lib Dems propose the merger of the equity team from Scottish Enterprise and the advisory component of the Scottish Futures Trust into one body to be known as Finance Scotland.

This single agency would be self-financing but underwritten by government, with the power to step in during times of commercial market failure.