Scottish Growth Scheme (Investment in North East Scotland)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th November 2019.

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Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

7. To ask the Scottish Government what the level of investment in the north-east has been as part of the Scottish growth scheme. (S5O-03837)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

The information requested is not available for the designated area. Scottish growth scheme support is available to companies throughout Scotland. Up to 31 October 2019, £165 million of investment has been unlocked for 277 businesses.

Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

I remind the cabinet secretary that the growth scheme was supposed to be a £500 million fund over three years but, with just months to go, the Government’s own figures show that, as of the end of September, £160 million—that is the figure that I have—has been invested and less than £30 million of that has come from the Scottish Government itself. What plans does the Government have to give the north-east the investment it needs and deserves before the scheme ends?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government has invested and will continue to invest massively in the north-east of Scotland, whether in infrastructure, business support or support for our public services generally. With regard to co-investment, one of the issues relating to the investment propositions for the Scottish growth scheme was investors’ willingness and desire to invest at the time. I have gone through that forensically at the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee. One of the reasons that we heard for some investment being pulled, or not being seen through to the end, was Brexit uncertainty, and whose fault is that? It is the Tories who have put us in the position of Brexit uncertainty. A no-deal Brexit would be calamitous for Scotland’s economy.

What part of Scotland would be worst affected by Brexit? It is the north-east and, in particular, the city of Aberdeen. The member talks about business support, but we are carrying out many actions, and I will announce further actions through the economic action plan. The biggest threat right now to business and prosperity in Scotland and, in particular, the north-east of Scotland, is Brexit, which has been brought upon us by the Conservative Party, which is reckless, incompetent and financially incapable.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Question 8 has not been lodged, so that concludes portfolio questions on finance, economy and fair work. There will be a short suspension before we move on to the next item of business.

14:16 Meeting suspended.

14:18 On resuming—