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More Than Half Of Scottish Businesses Say Reducing Red Tape Is Top Priority For New UK Government

Posted: 9th June 2015


• 55 per cent of small to medium sized businesses say new UK government should cut red tape
• Just less than two fifths (39 per cent) are calling for better incentives to invest, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) said that the skills gap needs urgent attention

Small businesses in Scotland say reducing red tape and improving incentives for investment should be the top priorities for the new UK government, according to a new study from Bank of Scotland.

The findings show that more than half of small to medium sized businesses (55 per cent) believe reducing red tape should be at the top of the to-do list for the new government, while two fifths (39 per cent) say better incentives to invest are needed.

The third highest priority cited by businesses nationwide should be action to tackle the skills gap through more vocational education such as apprenticeships.

The full results are below:

Question: What should the new Government’s priorities be for SMEs?

·         Reducing red tape                                       55%

·         Better incentives to invest                            39%

·         Improving access to the right skills              26%

·         Tackling late payment and financial advice   18%

·         Opening up barriers to overseas trade          8%


Source: Data collected in April 2015 from more than 1,500 respondents through BDRC Research Agency

Graham Blair, head of SME Banking Scotland, Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking, said: “Small and medium sized businesses have clear views on what the new UK government’s priorities should be, to help with their growth ambitions.

“Businesses have welcomed the government’s recent commitment to cut red tape and they recognise it as a priority. However they will also want reassurance that their concerns about skills, investment and export will be addressed.

“We are playing our part to help businesses start up, expand, and trade overseas – highlighted in the survey as a particular area in which Scottish firms require support – by increasing our trade finance facilities by 25 per cent in 2015. However it is clear that more can be done to give smaller and medium-sized firms the confidence to invest for the long-term.”

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