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Programme for Government 2013-14

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th September 2013.

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Photo of Chic Brodie Chic Brodie Scottish National Party

I am not sure what Richard Baker’s point is. I believe that sometimes it is better to sit still and say nothing, in case one is thought to be foolish, than it is to stand and confirm that.

When talking about fairness, we can look at the banks’ bonuses this year. They were delayed for a month at a cost of £3.2 billion, but their total was £75.1 billion, which is two and a half times the budget of Scotland. However, a fairer and more equitable distribution of wealth in a high-wage and high-productivity economy can be achieved only by creating the right support mechanisms to generate that wealth: the finance, skills and markets, and support for economic development in all our growth sectors. One route to that development and investment, which is in the programme and which I welcome, is to work with our enterprise agencies and others to consider the business case for the creation of a Scottish business development bank, which I hope will sit alongside a social enterprise bank, in the future.

In the programme lies the personal and social wealth of the nation: small businesses, properly risk assessed; the transfer of technologies from the research and development capabilities of our colleges and universities, and others; and an opportunity through the forthcoming procurement reform bill and our continued review of public services to see how we can unlock the competitiveness and ingenuity of the third sector to provide a more inclusive, competitive and supportive structure for the public sector.

Many economic features in the programme this year are commendable—not least the continued recognition that the multiplier effect best comes from a capital programme that enriches our infrastructure and in so doing enriches our economy.