Borders politicians have expressed their concern at the lack of ambition of SNP economic plans delivered in a statement today in Holyrood.
It follows yesterday’s UK Government announcement which saw a bold plan to protect, support and create jobs and the biggest package of support for youth unemployment ever. The landmark £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new, high-quality jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
The SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes welcomed the UK Government’s cut in VAT to 5% for hospitality and tourism industry and wider support for business.
Yet, the SNP’s LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) plans fell sort on of matching the equivalent cut in Stamp Duty down south with the change not being introduced immediately.
After months of businesses voicing their frustrations over the lack of Covid-19 support and a lack of clarification on travel rules, both Mr Lamont and Mrs Hamilton believe the Scottish Government are failing to back Scottish business.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“The SNP complain that even when they are given extraordinary funding, it isn’t enough.
“Yesterday we saw a massive injection of funding into the UK economy, which will stimulate economic growth and give the hospitality and tourism industry a vital life line when it needs it most.
“We have yet to see any detailed plans on how the SNP Government will help economic recovery.
“It was disappointing that the Finance Minister Kate Forbes did not match the large stamp duty cuts in Scotland, and instead more minor cuts to LBTT won’t come into effect yet.
“Over the past few months, we have seen the shambolic handling of the economy from the SNP, with some businesses left high and dry with no support, creating an unfair disadvantage over their English counterparts.
“Scotland desperately needs economic stimulus, and the SNP have failed to step up to the mark”.
John Lamont MP said:
“I welcome that many businesses will now be able to reopen in the coming days. This will be a relief and will no doubt help get people back into work and businesses trading again.
“However, the LBTT plans not being introduced immediately will cause an immediate stagnation in the housing market. The Scottish Government must address this situation. People will hold off purchasing a house if they know they can save a few thousand pounds in tax by waiting.
“The UK Government has shown ambition and immediacy in their plans to keep jobs and stimulate the economy. It’s a shame the SNP have not followed suit.”