Forbes challenged

Higgins: business and Holyrood bond ‘isn’t working’

Benny Higgins at Reset conference

Benny Higgins: relationship not strong enough

Government adviser and former banker Benny Higgins today told Finance Secretary Kate Forbes that the relationship between government and business “isn’t working”.

Mr Higgins, who delivered a key paper for the government last year advising on post-Covid recovery, said there was a view in the private sector that engagement with ministers “hasn’t been strong enough”.

During a webinar on the future of the Scottish economy, he said: “Notwithstanding that collaboration is so important, why is that the relationship between the Scottish government and business, perhaps more than anything smaller businesses, isn’t working?”

Ms Forbes replied: “The relationship has quite obviously been strained during Covid. There is no question about that.

“I am the frontline of that engagement and I hear the challenges and issues.

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