07 September 2021
Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:
“With Glasgow hosting COP26 later this year, the Scottish Government is right to focus on its plans for a net zero economy. Yet given the need to cement Scotland’s economic recovery post-pandemic, businesses will feel there ought to have been a greater focus on boosting growth. While there were encouraging mentions of greater access to finance, the devil will be in the detail.
“Firms are already decarbonising their operations, and, by working alongside government, can help urgently transform net zero ambitions into action. Reforming the planning and business rates systems - enabling much needed in investment in low carbon infrastructure - would help achieve ambitious climate targets.
“The First Minister is also right to highlight that COVID hasn’t gone away. Scottish firms have worked tirelessly throughout the crisis to keep staff and customers safe. Businesses are not calling for a rushed return to the workplace, though employers will rightly be speaking with their employees about a gradual return in line with the latest guidance.
“As the economy reopens, skills shortages remain a key concern, so employers will be frustrated not to hear more about plans for upskilling and retraining.
“Business investment is absolutely vital to Scotland’s economic recovery, and the government should do everything in its power to attract – not repel - investment and the very best talent. Ultimately, by working more closely with business to create sustainable economic growth, ministers will be able to achieve their goals of improving people's living standards and public services."