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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21140: Tom Mason (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 23 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it did not reach its target of ranking among the top quartile of OECD countries for productivity by 2017.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 30 January 2019

Data pertaining to Scotland’s performance relative to comparator OECD countries will be released on 6 th February 2018.

Between 2007 and 2017, Scotland’s productivity has increased by 5.7% in total, or 0.6% per year on average. This compares to a UK increase of 1.9% in total, or 0.2% per year on average. Regionally, Aberdeen and Edinburgh are second and third only to London.

Despite Scotland’s strong performance relative to the UK, the UK and Scotland’s productivity growth has been less strong relative to OECD member states. A range of factors influence the relative ranking of productivity over time, including: real productivity growth in Scotland and other OECD countries, changes in purchasing power parity exchange rates and inflation rates.

In order to counter the effects of UK Government policy, such as leaving the European Union and an imposition of a decade long period of austerity, the Scottish Government has established a number of initiatives to boost productivity.

These initiatives include the creation of Scotland’s National Investment Bank, the development of a Future Skills Action Plan and the establishment of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. These will provide the investment, skills and jobs required for Scotland to lead in the 21 st century.