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Budget must help encourage investment – CBI

The Scottish Budget will be unveiled later this month (Jane Barlow/PA)
The Scottish Budget will be unveiled later this month (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Scottish Government should use its upcoming Budget to encourage investment, a leading business group has said.

CBI Scotland has published its annual Budget submission, setting out its key requests of ministers in Edinburgh.

It calls for a co-ordinated strategy on skills in the workforce, as well as a “stable business environment” with a long-term tax policy.

The group also calls for reform of the planning system to smooth the way for green infrastructure projects.

The Scottish Government is due to unveil its annual Budget on December 19.

Shona Robison
Finance Secretary Shona Robison will outline the Scottish Government’s Budget plans later this month (PA)

Tracy Black, director of CBI Scotland, said: “Against a tough economic backdrop for everyone, the Scottish Budget marks an important moment for the Scottish Government to outline its ambitions for growth.

“With business investment now critical to putting Scotland back on a sustainable economic path, we urgently need firms to unleash investment, not try to tough out the difficult months ahead.

“Access to skills, restrictive planning processes and uncompetitive tax policies are acting as a handbrake on growth, and firms need to see that the Scottish Government is committed to meeting these challenges head-on.

“We should be more ambitious on business rates, by offering a full freeze across the economy, and committing to rip-up the planning red tape that delays critical green energy and infrastructure projects from getting off the ground.

“It also means taking a clear-eyed look at the education and skills system to make sure it’s delivering the skills we need for a modern, digital economy.”