I thank the cabinet secretary for her statement and for advance sight of it. I welcome the progress that has been made in establishing the Scottish National Investment Bank. With a serious economic recession looming and job losses already happening, it has never been more necessary.
The missions that the cabinet secretary set out in today’s statement are comprehensive, and she said that they were not in place to constrain the bank’s activities. Can she confirm that those missions will not restrict the ability of the bank to invest in all projects that can deliver economic growth and provide jobs at this vital time?
I also ask the following two questions on the cabinet secretary’s statement. First, the cabinet secretary has confirmed that the allocation of funding is £75 million in the current year and £200 million next year. Previously, it was indicated that the funding to the bank would be £400 million. Can she clarify the figures and the reason for the difference?
Secondly, the cabinet secretary mentioned Scottish Enterprise in her statement. Over recent years, the Government has slashed Scottish Enterprise’s budget, and some of the functions that it performed are now effectively being taken over by the Scottish National Investment Bank. What on-going role does the Scottish Government see for Scottish Enterprise and the other enterprise agencies, and how will future funding reflect that?