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The Scottish Government motion shows its complacency and its piecemeal approach to the Scottish economy, which does not work. Therefore, we seek to substantially amend the motion in order to join the dots between innovation, economic growth, earnings and productivity. Its motion praises its efforts but does not acknowledge that Scotland’s gross expenditure on research and development per head of population is lower than that of the UK, which spends 13 per cent more per head.
Scotland’s gross expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP was ranked in the third quartile of OECD countries in 2017, as was our business expenditure on research and development. The Scottish Government constantly brings forward debates on various aspects of the economy, but it shows no vision as to how those building blocks come together. We urge the Scottish Government to bring forward an industrial strategy in order to have all those interrelated aspects of the economy working together. Increasing productivity is key to achieving sustainable economic development, raising income levels and creating better quality employment.