Responding to the announcement of the 2020-21 Scottish Budget, Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce said:
“The budget announcements at the Scottish Parliament today include a range of commitments on taxation, infrastructure and the energy transition, areas where our members across the North-east expect ambitious action from policy-makers.”
On Business Rates / Taxation:
“Although firms will certainly not welcome the increase in the poundage rate, the choice to set this increase below the rate of inflation will provide some solace. We do welcome the replacement of the large business supplement with an intermediate rate for certain properties, bringing the rate in line with England, a persistent ask of our business community here in the North-east. We would continue to urge the Scottish Government to go further and bring the large business supplement in line with peers south of the border for all properties.”
“On Infrastructure, given that it was notably absent in the previous budget, our members will be heartened to a see a commitment to progress delivery of improvements to Aberdeen to Edinburgh & Glasgow rail links. It’s critically important we see imminent progress to support the development of the North-east’s connectivity while supporting the shift to a lower-carbon economy. Our members expect government and its agencies to work at speed towards a mile-a-minute minimum target, bringing us in line with our peers in the central belt.”
On Energy Transition:
“Given Aberdeen’s leadership in this space, it’s positive to see funding set aside within the Heat Transition Deal to progress hydrogen heating projects, and the commitment for an action plan linked to the development of hydrogen powered trains.
"It’s equally pleasing to see the commitment to support the net-zero solution centre reinforced in the budget. Our members expect the Scottish and UK governments to continue to work constructively to recognise the role of companies and people in Europe’s energy capital in leading the world in energy transition."