SNP failures outweigh successes claims business leader

THE achievements of the Scottish Government have been eclipsed by too many policies which hinder business, bosses' leaders claimed today.

In a New Year message, CBI Scotland director Iain McMillan said in 2011 politicians must give Scotland strong leadership and build a sound economy for the future.

He said: "In this election year, there will be temptations on the part of our politicians to avoid tough decisions. But real leadership is about doing the right things for Scotland at the right time. Avoiding difficult but necessary decisions will be to fail Scotland."

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He said over the past parliamentary term there had been public policy successes for which ministers deserved credit, including speeding up the planning process, new rail and motorway infrastructure, support for renewable energy and freezing council tax.

However, he added: "These achievements have been eclipsed by too many policies that are likely to hinder business and the economy."

He cited the National Conversation, cancellation of the Edinburgh and Glasgow airport rail links, refusing to use Public Private Partnerships to fund infrastructure projects, ruling out new nuclear power stations, deferring public service reform and refusing to use a different funding model for Scottish Water.

He said: "It is vital as we enter 2011 that all of Scotland's political parties build on these successes and avoid those failures of policy that will not help business and the economy going forward."