Creating a Wealthier Scotland
The SNP are committed to creating a wealthier, more successful Scotland. We want Scotland to flourish, with opportunities for all as part of a fairer economy. The foundations of Scotland’s economy are strong – but there’s much more we want to do. We can deliver more and better paid jobs, share the fruits of success amongst our citizens more equally, and create stronger, more sustainable growth.
Our vision is of a Scotland with a competitive, fairer and more sustainable economy. The SNP want Scotland to be the most competitive place to do business and to invest in the UK.
We are encouraging Scottish businesses to grow and expand, both at home and overseas.
We are also helping Scottish businesses to develop, and will introduce a new £40 million fund to provide investment to small and medium sized businesses. This is in addition to the SNP’s longstanding support for small businesses through the Small Business Bonus.
The SNP are committed to creating jobs across Scotland, and will continue to push for the devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament over job creation, taxation, welfare and wages to allow us to make policies best suited to Scotland’s labour market.
The Scottish Government appointed the UK’s first Minister for Youth Employment in 2011, and has made youth and women’s employment a priority. Substantial support is offered to young people through our Modern Apprenticeships scheme, a dedicated Employability Fund, and by maintaining and increasing Educational Maintenance Allowance, which was scrapped by Westminster in England. These measures will help us to work towards our ambition to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2021.
To help achieve our goal of a fairer economy we are encouraging businesses to pay the Living Wage. In 2011 we became the first government in the UK to pay the Living Wage to its staff; we have exceeded our target of signing up 500 Living Wage-accredited businesses, and more than 80 per cent of Scots are now paid the Living Wage or more. We will now go further and aim to have 1,000 Living Wage accredited employers by Autumn 2017. The Scottish Business Pledge also demonstrates our desire to encourage businesses to invest in young people, progress diversity and pay the Living Wage.
More people in Scotland are in employment than the pre-recession high point.
Youth unemployment is at its lowest rate since records began and is the second lowest in the EU.
Typical pay in Scotland is now, for the first time, higher than in England.
Productivity growth in Scotland is four times as fast as the UK. Since the SNP came to office productivity has increased by 9.4 per cent, while stagnating for the UK as a whole.
Small businesses have saved more than a billion pounds in Business Rates since we introduced the the Small Business Bonus Scheme.