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Scottish Ministers "must explain impact on business"

Minister "alarmed" at reaction that the Scottish Government's Spending Review has provoked from the business community

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore is to write to the Scottish Government’s Finance Minister asking for an explanation of the impact on Scottish Business of the Scottish Government’s spending review.

He will also invite John Swinney to suggest how his government can contribute to the work of the new Scottish Trade and Growth Board which Mr Moore announced this week.

Moore said: “I am alarmed at the reaction that the Scottish Government’s Spending Review has provoked from the business community.

“In particular I’m concerned at the fears expressed about the projected business rates and the significant risk that they could prove a major disincentive to new investment in Scotland.

“The UK government, aware of the difficulties caused by the global financial situation, is currently trying to help business by reducing corporation tax, cutting red tape and keeping interest rates low.

“Scottish firms’ fears that they could be facing a damaging hike in business rates set by the Scottish government must be addressed.

“Their reaction also underlines the need to focus on barriers to economic growth and the importance of the work of the recently announced Scottish Trade and Growth Board, where I hope Scotland’s two governments can work together.

“But right now we need to know the assessment the Scottish Government  has made of the impact of their proposals, in particular with regard to business rates and the so-called ‘Tesco Tax’.

“Far from being a panacea, the Scottish Government’s so-called “Plan  MacB” has been shown to have a nasty sting in its tail.”

Published 25 September 2011