Wilson Questions Use of Chunghwa Cash

SNP Shadow Enterprise Minister Mr Andrew Wilson MSP today (Friday) questioned whether rules on the use of public money to support inward investment had been breached.

Commenting on the news that millions had been squandered on the Taiwanese firm, Mr Wilson called for a new enterprise strategy that focuses on competitive tax rates and infrastructure investment. He said:

"It is now clear that a phenomenal amount of taxpayers money has been badly squandered and serious questions must be asked about the competence of government Ministers who agreed to deals that lined the pockets of multinationals without protecting the long term interests of the Scottish taxpayer, workers and the economy.

"I would be very surprised if 'cost per job limits' have not been breached in some of these deals and while this whole policy mistake is unlikely now to be repeated we have to make sure it is replaced with something that ensures our competitiveness increases on all levels.

"The inward investment strategy of the 80s and 90s was always designed to deal with the problems of Scottish economic under performance rather than with providing muscle for the long term growth of our economy.

"It is very clear that both Labour and Tory Ministers have pursued short term hits rather than longer term growth and competitiveness. What all of us have to realise is that until we get the full range of policy powers to place us at a competitive advantage we will see ongoing underperformance and a failure to achieve our full potential.

"We are currently running the risk of making parallel mistakes by gearing up our supply side only to see well educated people leaving to apply their skills elsewhere. We need to make sure that we match supply side excellence with a competitive tax regime and low cost investment in infrastructure improvement as well."

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