A group of 27 business leaders have backed a report commissioned by Sir Tom Hunter which calls for “radical” measures to boost economic growth.
The Oxford Economics report for the businessman’s Hunter Foundation demands significant tax cuts and deregulation for companies, as well as increased government investment through borrowing.
The report, released earlier this week, notes that Scotland’s GDP per capita is lower than countries like Denmark and Norway and calls for changes in policy from both the UK and Scottish governments.
Among those who support it are Andrew Wilson, founder of the Charlotte Street Partners consultancy and author of the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission report.
It is also backed by the chief executives of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Women’s Enterprise Scotland.
In a joint letter, the 27 business leaders say the report makes a strong case for a new economic strategy in Scotland.
The letter says: “Radical and ambitious policy changes are required if Scotland’s economic performance is to be transformed and significantly boosted within the next 15 years, and there must be no sacred cows as we determine those changes.
“We must, as a necessity not a choice, address Scotland’s low productivity, poor business birth rate and lack of success with scale-ups that mean Scotland’s GDP per head is a mere 44% of Singapore’s level, 48% of Ireland’s, 68% of Norway’s and 75% of Denmark’s.
“We must act now, in collaboration not conflict, to support and deliver a strategy that takes us up the ladder of GDP and drives innovation and scaling – not just within business but across the whole of the public sector.
“Achieving significant growth in our GDP is not just in every single person’s interest, it’s an imperative if we are to maintain and indeed enhance our public services and drive the jobs that are so desperately needed post-pandemic.”