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Taking Scotland Forward: Economy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 31st May 2016.

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

That is an argument about technicalities. What we have is a memorandum of understanding; if it means nothing, why on earth did the First Minister sign it? Of course it means something. The Scottish Government should be embarrassed by, rather than celebrating, the document. Instead of defending the CRG, the Government should be investing in people in this country. That is how we can grow the economy.

The cabinet secretary should be embarrassed and should apologise to Parliament for the mess that he has got the Government into.

I move amendment S5M-00212.2, to leave out from “; supports” to end and insert:

“, that the unemployment rate is 6.2% compared to the UK rate of 5.1%, the widest gap since 2004, and the fact that 19% of Scottish businesses cannot get the skills that they need; believes that such challenges and the slipping Scottish economy necessitate urgent new action to improve productivity through innovation, investment, internationalisation and tackling inequality, and further believes that this must include investment in education to give businesses the skills that they need and make Scottish education the best again, a step change in mental health services to help people get back to work and ensure a fit and healthy workforce, broadband and modern mobile phone coverage everywhere in Scotland, improved transport infrastructure, a competitive business tax system and the decentralisation of power so that communities have greater opportunities to secure economic progress in their area.”