New Deal: Scottish business leaders call for measures to cut red tape

Part of the goal is to cut bureaucracy while at the same time bitterly bickering over regulation and taxes.

The Scottish Government has been urged to push ahead with action to tackle issues such as business tariffs, staff shortages and recycling policies, as the New Deal for Business Group, made up of senior politicians and business leaders and reporting to the First Minister, recommended reform across such key areas.

It’s part of a broader move aimed at rebuilding business ties in Scotland amid conflict over policies ranging from the ban on alcohol advertising to the deferred deposit return system, and concerns over charges for non-domestic and non-domestic customers. business customers.

It recommended further review of tariff reforms to “create the most competitive environment in which to do business while supporting our communities”.

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It also called for the return of the Independent Regulatory Review Group, set up by the previous Labor/Liberal Democrat government in 2004 to improve the regulatory environment for businesses.

The organization was disbanded in 2020 during the Covid pandemic.

dr Poonam Malik, NDBG Co-Chair and Head of Investment at Strathclyde University, described members’ “desire for change” and “positive attitude”.

Neil Gray, Secretary of State for Welfare Economy, who was also co-chair of the group, said: “The Scottish Government is listening to business and is committed to driving these recommendations forward to create a welfare economy where sustainability and fairness are at its heart and the It allows business, in turn, society to thrive.

READ MORE: New Deal for Business Group: First meeting in Edinburgh

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said Scottish ministers had “acted swiftly” in recent weeks to engage and listen to businesses and “the tone and thrust of the proposed new deal with retail is encouraging”.

He said: “Ministers have responded positively to our regulatory proposals. Revitalizing the defunct Regulatory Review Group, properly implementing impact assessments at the outset of new policy initiatives, establishing common start dates, and providing clarity about the regulatory pipeline are all actions that can support businesses.

“This is crucial as a host of decentralized regulatory issues are in the pipeline, including restrictions on in-store alcohol marketing, a coffee cup levy, new rules for in-store sales of foods high in salt and sugar, and a review of minimum unit pricing.”

READ MORE: ‘Government needs to reshape its relationship with business’

He also said: “Ultimately, how new regulations are developed and tax decisions are made, and whether ministers both listen and respond to the legitimate concerns of industry, will determine whether the agreement represents a crucial shift in the relationship between represents business and government.” .

“These are undoubtedly positive first steps, but Scottish ministers must deliver on these promises if they are to boost business investment and deliver economic growth.”

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said the report offered a more positive outlook.

Colin Wilkinson, SLTA Chief Executive, said: “This renewed collaboration with companies brings hope to the licensed commercial and hospitality sector at a time when many are struggling to survive, find staff and cover the costs of soaring utility bills.”

“Businesses in towns and villages across Scotland need support if they are to be part of the effort to revitalize communities, boost economic growth and create jobs.”

Sara Thiam, chief executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said: “We support the reshaping of the relationship with business and the recommendations that are in place for working more effectively with business on the regulation and reform of non-domestic tariffs.”

Julie Ashworth, Chair of IoD Scotland, said: “Ensuring effective collaboration between business and government is a core objective of IoD Scotland and the NDBG has enabled us to achieve just that, by serving the needs and interests of our members across the country communicate.”

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