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As Budget debate looms

Scotland ‘pays highest business taxes in Europe’

Port of Grangemouth

Growth under the SNP has stalled, say the Scottish Conservatives

A decade of SNP economic policy has led to the lowest growth in the developed world and the highest business taxes in Europe, according to new analysis.

Ahead of the budget discussions this week, Scottish Conservative research shows that Scotland will have the lowest economic growth of all countries in the developed world in the next three years, falling from sixth worst in 2016.

Meanwhile, Scottish businesses and citizens are paying increasingly higher taxes.

Figures show that Scottish businesses pay business rates equivalent to 2% of GDP, the highest in Europe. 

The Scottish Tories also accuse the SNP of failing to meet two key economic targets introduced in the SNP Economic Strategy in 2007. 

The first was ‘to raise the GDP growth rate to the UK level by 2011’. This has now been reset to an indefinite target as Scotland has failed to match UK growth in 30 of the 42 quarters since they SNP came to power.  

The second target was ‘to match the GDP growth rate of the small independent EU countries by 2017.’ As of Q3 2017, Scottish growth was 3% lower than in small EU countries, and the gap is increasing. 

Scottish Conservative economics spokesman Dean Lockhart said: “These figures set the scene for the Scottish parliament debate on stage 1 of the budget this week.

“The simple fact is that despite ten years in power, the SNP has created a Scotland with high taxes and continuous low growth.

“To quote the independent Fraser of Allander Institute, such low trends in economic growth for Scotland have not been witnessed in 60 years.

“This clearly impacts on the amount of money available for schools, hospitals and roads. The SNP must concentrate on growing the Scottish economy.

“There can be no case for raising taxes while Scots are already paying so much and getting so little.”


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