Stagecoach exec sees 'no risk' from independence

SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP has welcomed comments by Stagecoach’s next chief executive Martin Griffiths that he sees "no risk" from Scottish independence.

Speaking to shareholders at Perth Concert Hall, Mr Griffiths said "I don't think, from a group point of view and risk register point of view, it changes anything we are looking at at this point."

The comments swiftly follow those from chief executive of drinks giant Diageo, Paul Walsh, that independence would make "no difference" to any decision on investing in Scotland.

With Scotland currently ranked in an Ernst and Young survey as the most attractive place in the UK to do business, the comments also echo the findings of Channel 4’s respected Factcheck website which also found that business leaders were confident about investing in Scotland.

Mr Hosie said it was now time for anti-independence politicians to drop their scaremongering and join the positive debate on Scotland’s future.

Commenting Mr Hosie said:

"Stagecoach is a major player in the transport industry, and a home-grown success story, so I welcome their continued commitment to Scotland regardless of the constitutional debate.

"The fact that independence is not seen as a risk by such a major global company blows apart the scaremongering from the Tory-Labour-LibDem alliance.

"Martin Griffiths’ comments echo the confidence of other business leaders who are investing in Scotland right now. They also expose the hollowness of the anti-independence arguments compared to the reality of where business leaders think the real risk comes from – the Westminster government’s failure to invest capital in infrastructure projects like schools, hospitals and roads.

“As the findings of the Ernst and Young survey show, Scotland continues to be the most attractive place in the UK to do business and that the great debate over independence is having no effect on FDI decisions.

"That underscores how better decisions are made for Scotland by those the people of Scotland directly elect rather than a Westminster government Scotland rejected at the polls.

“The evidence clearly shows that Scotland has the talent, the natural resources and the perfect location to build a strong and prosperous economy. Westminster ministers and the anti-independence parties should drop their scaremongering and join the positive debate on Scotland’s future.

“With the full economic and financial powers of independence we could do even more to raise Scotland’s competitiveness and drive forward economic recovery. In the meantime the Westminster government must deliver substantial capital investment immediately to promote growth and jobs."