Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Dean Lockhart MSP has today used a speech at Holyrood to call on the SNP to stop hiding from their dismal economic record.
A report from the Scottish Fiscal Commission published with the Scottish budget stated that economic growth in Scotland will continue to be subdued over the next five years and will underperform the UK as a whole.
Yet despite these warnings, the SNP intend to continue their policies which have made Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK.
Mr Lockhart also used the speech to set out the opportunities available to Scotland under the UK-wide industrial strategy.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’We have heard yet again the cabinet secretary attempt to hide an 11-year economic failure by blaming Brexit.
‘’The reality is that the SNP has been in charge of Scotland’s economy for 11 long years and has turned it into a low-growth, low-productivity and low-wage economy.
‘’That is why it is time for a new direction in Scotland’s economic policy.
‘’Government policy needs to prepare Scotland for a digital future.
‘’That digital gap presents a massive challenge for companies that are looking to increase their exports.
‘’The global export market is increasingly dominated by e-commerce and digital platforms.
‘’Scottish businesses will lose out on those trading opportunities if we do not address the digital gap.
‘’That is why we are calling for the establishment of a dedicated institute of e-commerce—a specialist public agency in Scotland that would help to move large and small businesses online in order to take advantage of global opportunities in e-commerce and get the Scottish economy ready for a digital future.
‘’The UK industrial strategy is the most far-reaching and ambitious UK economic policy in decades.
‘’Under the strategy, £50 billion of funding will be made available for research and development, investment in new technologies and the commercialisation of innovation across the UK.
‘’The strategy makes available a scale of investment for Scotland’s economic development that would not be possible in a stand-alone Scottish economic policy.
‘’Investment of scale, additional R and D and global expertise are precisely what many of Scotland’s innovative new industries—including the life science, low-carbon and fintech sectors—need in order to scale up.’’
You can view the whole of Dean’s contribution below: