FSB on Scottish Emergency Budget Review

Commenting on the emergency budget review (EBR), unveiled by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in Holyrood this afternoon, Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae, said: “Ahead of this emergency statement, we put forward a number of measures that would protect small firms and free them up to drive growth.

“We therefore warmly welcome retaining the lifeline Small Business Bonus Scheme and moves to ease cashflow by urging all public sector bodies to pay all small business invoices without delay.

“Changes to the planning system to prioritise applications which help businesses diversify or adjust their operating arrangements will free firms to innovate and adapt – unlocking investment potential.

“And there’s recognition of the concerns we put forward over the impact of new regulations at such a difficult time. While we maintain there should be a moratorium on all but the most essential new rules, it looks like there’s room for a serious conversation about the proportionality and consistency of regulation and we look forward to details of the promised taskforce.

“On the other hand, this was undoubtedly a review delivered against a very sombre backdrop and there’s no doubt that savings will have to be made.  Indeed, there will be £3.3m less across the finance and economy portfolio.

“While everyone will need to take their fair share of any cuts, at a time when one in six small businesses across Scotland are set to shrink, sell or shut, we need to be careful we don’t lose perfectly viable businesses from the economy for want of some modest short-term support.”