‘But whatever measure or comparison used, it is clear that the challenge to boost Scotland’s long-term rate of productivity shows no sign of disappearing. Back in 2007, the Scottish Government set a target to “rank in the top quartile for productivity amongst our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017”. It is clear that this target will be missed’.
‘On balance, the SFC’s GDP forecasts are not out of kilter with the recent past. And the SFC assumes that there will be no ‘bounce-back’ in Scottish growth to recapture weak growth relative to the UK over the past 2.5 years’.
‘Under the Scottish Government’s proposed income tax policy, everyone earning under £33k will pay less tax in 2018/19 than they did this year (2017/18). BUT part of this is due to the increase in Personal Allowance, which would have happened anyway, i.e. irrespective of any announcement made by Mr Mackay today.’
The Programme for Government is full of detailed initiatives to support and encourage everything from manufacturing in the West Highlands to tourism in Ayrshire. Mostly it is a description of what is already being done, but where’s the evidence for what works, asks a former government adviser.
‘..it is time for governments to stop wasting time and money on technologies like CCS that aren’t working. They need to finally get serious about leading a major drive for energy efficiency instead’.
‘Changing the constitutional set-up doesn’t alter the fact that these fiscal challenges need to be addressed by all governments in all countries. Today’s figures show that a more autonomous Scotland will be forced to meet such challenges sooner rather than later.
‘So all in all, whilst very welcome, we’d urge caution in dusting down the bunting and streamers just yet! There is much work still to be done if the Scottish economy is to fully make up recent lost ground’.
“So the Scottish studio announcement is perfectly timed to take advantage of the shift in the UK’s cultural economy away from London. It is a statement about Scotland’s own increasingly cultural confidence, independence or no.’
It is critical that both the UK and Scottish Government act to support the Scottish economy. Poor economic growth has implications for growth in jobs and wages, as well as the resources available to both governments to fund public services.
“This blog examines the recent trend in productivity in Scotland, and we unpick the numbers (3.5% rise in 2015) to see if they are as positive as would initially appear.” “..if policymakers are hoping that the recent statistics herald a new found surge in productivity in the Scottish economy then they are set to be disappointed”.