SCOTTISH BUDGET Chamber Priorities for the Scottish Budget
Ahead of the Scottish Budget, Chambers of Commerce across Scotland have shared their priorities for the upcoming budget on December 19th, informed by feedback from across 13,000 members and right across the business community. A summary of these priorities can be found below.
Replicate the 75% discount on business rates for retail, hospitality, leisure firms for RHL businesses in Scotland as recently extended by the UK Government for RHL firms inEngland & Wales.
Rule out further changes to Scotland’s income tax system and ensure it remains competitive with the rest of the UK.
No further regulatory policies should be progressed which impact on business, complimented by business friendly changes to the planning system.
The government must continue to back Scotland’s apprentices which we believe are vital to fully unlocking Scotland’s economic potential, building upon the government’s commitment to 30,000 apprenticeship starts per year.
The further education sector needs certainty and further investment if it is to do itscritical part to help tackle the skills crisis and therein labour shortages across the Scottish economy.
Provide enhanced support for firms looking to recruit from abroad with the Talent Attraction and Migration Service.
Improve connectivity between Scotland’s towns & cities and encouraging the modal shift to public transport by investing further in ScotRail to deliver sustainable and punctual services.
Clear commitments to – and adherence to – timetabling of the development of major infrastructure projects such as rail or road improvements.
Scotland’s businesses see investment in low-carbon transport infrastructure as a priority and Chambers of Commerce call for planned investments to be accelerated to unlock economic growth.
A more flexible regulatory framework is needed to unlock timely investment at the scale and pace across renewables required to meet Net Zero targets.
A plan to boost and streamline EV charging infrastructure must be accelerated to give commercial operators more flexibility and input to support the rollout.
Oil & Gas
The Scottish Government must remove its presumption against future oil and gas production as contained in the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, in order to maintain confidence and investment in the sector.