Please find below reaction to the SNP/Green Coalition’s Programme for Government, from Struan Stevenson, Chief Executive of Scottish Business UK.

Struan Stevenson, Chief Executive of Scottish Business UK said:

“Humza Yousaf’s PfG unveiled on 5th September was predictable in its inadequacy. His decision to plug the gap in Scotland’s finances, caused by the SNP/Green government’s failure to grow the economy, by imposing even higher taxes on businesses and workers, will cause widespread dismay. The First Minister’s boast that he will “use our tax powers in the setting of the 2024/25 Budget to further progress delivery of the most progressive tax system in the UK”, will send shivers down the spine of businesspeople and middle-income earners in Scotland.

“By doubling down on plans to hammer operators of short-term let accommodation, the First Minister has refused to heed warnings from the hospitality sector of the huge damage this will cause. By adhering to a long list of policies advocated by his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon, he has confirmed the SNP/Green coalition’s lack of backing for business. Indeed, by announcing plans to support entrepreneurship and innovation with a miserly allocation of £15 million out of a budget totalling £60 billion, he has revealed his government’s shocking neglect for Scotland’s economy.

“Humza Yousaf’s claim that he is “anti-poverty and pro-growth” is left stranded by his failure to grasp the fact that the best way to tackle poverty is to support business and industry and to support economic growth. His ‘progressive tax policies’ will achieve the opposite. Thanks to the SNP we already pay higher taxes in Scotland than any other part of the UK, destroying competitiveness and acting as a grave disincentive for people who might want to set up a business and come to work in Scotland. Simply adding further to our tax burden reveals a desperate lack of vision from a government that has clearly run out of ideas.”


About Scottish Business UK

–   Scottish Business UK (SBUK) is an independent, non-party voice for business leaders who want to see Scotland thrive economically as part of the United Kingdom. SBUK is a registered company known as ‘SB Supports the Union Ltd’. 

–  SBUK’s Advisory Council currently has a membership overseeing business interests that together employ over 10,000 people in Scotland and 35,000 people across the UK and Ireland.  Profiles of each member can be read at

Wednesday 6 September 2023

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