The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government for 2020-2021.
Ms Sturgeon said the suppression of Covid-19 would be the priority, adding that a resurgence of the virus would hit the economy hard.
Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s 2020-2021 Programme for Government, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“The onus is on all of us to build back and the sooner we start the better. The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government has some ambitious aims that we welcome. Now we need to see how these proposals will be implemented and when.
“There is no doubt in anyone’s minds how important it is to keep the spread of the virus at bay but of equal importance is ensuring the sustainability of our livelihoods and the strength of our jobs market.
“We need to ensure equal amounts of energy and investment are focused on the survival of our businesses now as well as into the future.”
On green jobs and skills:
“A joined-up approach from the private and public sector is absolutely essential to tackle the global challenge of climate change and the skills needed to deliver net zero ambitions.
“The Green Jobs fund – alongside support for decarbonising domestic and industrial heating – is a welcome statement of intent.
“We look forward to seeing the detail of how businesses of all sizes will be able to access support to upskill their employees through the extended Flexible Workforce Development Fund.”
On investment in tech and infrastructure:
“The rapid adoption of Mark Logan’s proposals to develop a world-class ecosystem for technology start-ups and growth businesses is bold albeit uncosted as yet.
“However, this along with support to close the digital exclusion gap that has become so apparent in Scotland during the course of this pandemic will set a course towards the necessary and hopefully rapid adoption of digital technologies.”
On commitment to introducing Air Departure Tax (ADT):
“This has been talked about for years and still no solution to this quandary. If we are to boost inward investment not to mention a tourism industry devastated by the pandemic, now would be the time to act on this.”
On plans for a draft bill proposing terms and timing of a second referendum on Scottish independence:
“Businesses are in desperate need of certainty and stability, two things which are sorely lacking in the current economic and political environment.
“When appropriate, we will initiate engagement with our members across the country to understand how the prospect of another referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future could potentially affect their ability to grow, create new jobs and invest.”
Scottish Chambers of Commerce has prepared a PDF summary of the announcements made today which can be viewed here.