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PRESS RELEASE

Date: Wednesday 20 March 2013
For Immediate Release

SCDI RESPONSE TO THE BUDGET

Responding to today’s Budget, SCDI welcomed a number of positive announcements which will promote investment in the Scottish economy, including additional funding for infrastructure, decommissioning relief for the oil and gas industry, and support for businesses to invest in R&D and take on new employees.

However, SCDI expressed disappointment at increases in Air Passenger Duty and a rise in alcohol duty on one of Scotland’s strongest exports, Scotch whisky.

Following today’s Budget announcement, SCDI also welcomes news that the Peterhead project has been selected as a preferred bidder in the UK Government’s £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Commercialisation Competition.

SCDI Chief Executive, Professor Lesley Sawers said:

“SCDI’s vision is for a competitive economy which supports investment and exports. There are a number of announcements in this Budget which we have called for and welcome.

“The energy industry is vital to economic growth. Confirmation of decommissioning relief for the oil and gas industry will unlock billions of pounds of investment in existing and new fields, whilst the progression of the Peterhead CCS project is a positive step in developing Scotland’s world-class potential in this area, which, following previous missed opportunities, must lead to investment.

“We welcome moves to increase further capital expenditure on infrastructure, although we believe that there was scope for some more. Support for business investment in R&D will address a key priority for the Scottish economy given our low levels in his area and a National Insurance allowance for employers will be an incentive to recruit more people, particularly young people, a major issue on which SCDI is leading discussions with employers.

“However, SCDI is very disappointed that the Chancellor is not listening to the evidence which has been presented on the damage that continued rises in Air Passenger Duty is doing to Scotland’s connectivity and competitiveness. We also cannot understand how continuing to increase taxes on the already unfairly taxed Scotch whisky industry, one of the UK’s most successful exports, while reducing it on beer, fits with the Government’s aim of supporting key exporters.”

ENDS


Notes to editors

SCDI is Scotland's leading independent economic development organisation representing 1,200 companies, SMEs, public sector bodies, charities, trade unions and faith groups.

For further information, please contact James Alexander, Senior Policy and Communications Manager on 0141 222 9728 or 07762 023 985.



 

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