Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.

Why Scotland is still trapped in recession

Thursday is set to bring news that the UK economy has moved out of recession -
but Scotland may not be out of recession at all. 
Unemployment is still rising. Our high streets are being hammered. “Shovel ready” projects are no such thing. And many Scots SMEs are being shut out of public contracts because of complex – and discriminatory procurement rules That Scotland should be lagging the UK like this is scandalous.
There are big questions here for the Scottish government to address. Here are three:
  • What is the government doing to meet  complaints from Scotland’s SMEs that they are being shut out of government projects because contracts are bundled together (making them  biddable only by big companies) or by stipulating a minimum size of business turnover - £130 million?  That shuts out tens of thousands of Scots companies!
  • Why are the top civil servants at St Andrews House worried that a business upturn in Scotland could be stymied because of lack of skilled staff? If that is the case, what on earth have our “world-class universities” been doing, turning out graduates apparently so unsuited for the modern world?
  • What is the status of those 31/33 “shovel- ready projects exactly? Just how shovel ready are they? Or is it a political vanity wish list that has still to run the gauntlet of protocols, environmental impact studies, cost assessments, efficiency studies and the like?
Now the fact is that in recent weeks there has been a stream of better than expected news on the economy.
Last week Scot-Buzz splashed on no less than seven of these – from stronger high street activity through private sector labour hiring to better   household finances and a sharp upturn in car sales.
The week before we led on the upturn in the   OECD leading economic indicator for the UK.
And the week before that we splashed on the surge in new business registrations (figures on a UK basis, no separate Scottish data – scandalous!)
A big problem in Scotland is that we have a political and civil service class absorbed in questions of governmental change little of which is relevant to the lives of millions of people looking for a job, or a better job to move to, or a business upturn that could bring more work and better prospects.
Fortunately, there is also some very good news to report.
Last week Scot-Buzz attended a fantastic Santander Breakthrough Live Event in Edinburgh to promote enterprise and business growth.
It brought a stunning presentation by Glasgow micro-beer entrepreneur Petra Wetzel whose expansion has created 40 plus jobs.
Scot-Buzz also met up with crowd-funding entrepreneur Michelle Rodger.
And we heard of other stories where tiny businesses are stepping up to expansion.
We highlight their stories on the Scot-Buzz website today.  
And in case you’re busy or don’t have time, here’s something else we’ll do.
We will keep bringing stories of enterprise and entrepreneurialism to give praise where praise is due and to encourage others to become entrepreneurs.
And if you think these are just one-offs, or like those GDP figures they’re a fluke and don’t mean anything, here’s two figures to bear in mind today.
No less than 24,799 businesses have started up this month. And that takes the total so far this year to 394,064.
MEMO TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT: why don’t we have our own Start-Up Scotland Tracker counting the number of businesses being formed every week and every month in Scotland?
There’s nothing like example to encourage others to follow.
And there’s nothing like telling the news that really matters!