Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed the news that two of Scotland’s inward investors, Doug Sawers of Human Resources firm Ceridian and representatives of BNY Mellon, who recently announced plans to increase staff in Edinburgh, have brushed off opposition claims over Scotland’s economic prospects under independence.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Mr Sawers said “in the event that the country chooses independence we have faith in the Scottish Government’s approach to making Scotland more, not less, competitive. If it happens, the Scottish people will have made a balanced decision and I believe that business will be supported because they are key to Scotland’s success.”
BNY Mellon said it “deals in multiple currencies, multiple jurisdictions and changes within these all the time.”
Linda said “I am very please to hear what these successful global businesses in Scotland have to say. Major companies such as Taqa, Avaloq, Samsung and many others are expressing their confidence in Scotland’s future by investing and creating employment here.
“I was also pleased to see that the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist, Donald Macrae, commented that the threat of a “double dip” recession hitting Scotland is “diminishing”, as a business survey suggested a “slow recovery” for the economy.
“The Bank of Scotland’s Purchase Managers Index showed that in Scotland, output grew in both manufacturing and services while employment increased at the fastest rate in four years largely driven by the service sector. The Scottish results of the survey show that small businesses north of the border are more confident than the UK average. Growth in new orders was strong in the service sector but new export orders were unchanged from the previous month illustrating the fragility of the eurozone economies. There is “considerable optimism” about businesses’ expansion – with a third of firms looking to increase capital investment.
“With the economic powers of independence, we can make the Scottish economy more competitive with lower corporation tax, and boost growth and jobs in Scotland. However, while we remain tied to the economic policies of Westminster, I fully support the efforts of Scotland’s Finance Secretary, John Swinney, who has urged the Chancellor, George Osborne to produce a Budget that will promote investment, jobs and will support small businesses.
“We have many small businesses here in East Kilbride who continue to struggle under Westminster’s economic policy. Small and medium sized businesses will form an important part of a successful economic recovery, and we must do what we can to support these firms.
“The Scottish Government has set up the Scottish Investment Bank to support Scottish companies, yet small and medium sized businesses in Scotland have been deprived of affordable finance, limiting their ability to support investment in the economy. We need to see urgent action here.
“More transparent reporting of companies’ payment performance to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) get paid on time, and the introduction of a fuel duty regulator to automatically reduce fuel duty when oil prices rise would also help.
“Investment in “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects could create growth and jobs in Scotland. National Insurance holiday would aid youth employment and reduced rates of VAT for the tourism and hospitality sector would also be welcomed.
“These are relatively simple measures that could significantly enhance employment opportunities for young people and could also be extended to cover recruitment by small and medium sized businesses.
“Against the backdrop of global economic problems and UK mismanagement, Scotland is holding our own. The current economic challenges we face will not disappear with independence but we are well placed – indeed better placed – to meet these challenges head on and to make the most of Scotland’s opportunities.”