Date lodged: 24 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to mitigate the impact of a possible recession in Scotland.
Answered by: Keith Brown 8 May 2017
Scotland’s economy has remained resilient over the past year, growing by 0.4% in 2016. This is despite the continued challenges posed by the slowdown in the oil and gas sector and the uncertainty created by the EU referendum result. There is a clear consensus among forecasters that leaving the European Union will damage the UK economy. The Fraser of Allander Institute confirms the risks Brexit poses to Scotland’s economy, predicting that after ten years, GDP could be over 5% (£8 billion in 2015-16 terms) lower after leaving the EU than would otherwise be the case.
The Scottish Government continue to take action to support the Scottish economy, in keeping with the Programme for Government, and informed by the priorities set out in Scotland’s Economic Strategy.
We are taking forward our Infrastructure Investment Plan, with projects valued at more than £6.4 billion currently in construction or estimated to be in construction during 2017. We are also supporting significant investment in digital infrastructure and affordable housing and are taking action to encourage business investment, including through progressing with the Scottish Growth Scheme. We are supporting innovation through our plan to invest more than £1 billion in our universities in
2017-18, and through our Innovation Centres. A Board of Trade has been established, as part of our actions to boost Scotland’s trade, exports and international connections. We are undertaking a range of actions to support small businesses, including through our package of business rates support. We are also supporting the oil and gas sector, including through the Energy Jobs Taskforce and the Transition Training Fund.
We’re equipping our young people for the future by increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeship opportunities to 30,000 per year by 2020, and by taking steps to introduce a Job Grant to support young people aged 16-24 who have been out of work for six months or more.