30 October 2018

  |  CBI Scotland


Holyrood update - SNP conference and more

Read the latest insights from the CBI Scotland team on their engagement with politicians and policy makers across Holyrood and Westminster.

Holyrood update - SNP conference and more

Last month’s SNP Conference saw the CBI Scotland team engage with a wide range of politicians, members and stakeholders. Assistant Director, Mari Tunby, joined the Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes MSP, at a packed fringe event, held in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Taxation, to discuss taxing Scottish businesses in a digital world. The debate centred on how the tax system should adapt to the changing nature of retail, what action is needed to protect high street stores and how the Scottish Government should halt plans for an out-of-town levy.

A range of other meetings at the conference included a discussion with the Scottish Government’s Special Adviser for Business, the Economy, Skills and Fair Work, Stewart Maxwell. Amongst the many issues covered were the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Economic Action Plan, business rates and future infrastructure investment.

The Economic Action Plan was also on the agenda for CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black as she attended a business breakfast with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work. Elsewhere, post-Brexit immigration was the focus at a meeting with the Scottish Government’s Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, Ben Macpherson MSP. The team also attended a roundtable with the SNP’s Westminster spokesperson on immigration, Stuart McDonald MP, to discuss the recommendations put forward by the Migration Advisory Committee and how they might impact businesses in Scotland.

Both the Scottish and UK Governments were represented as CBI Scotland teamed up with the University of Edinburgh for an innovation conference that explored the myths and opportunities of artificial intelligence and automation. Sana Khareghani, Head of the UK Government’s Office of AI, opened the morning before Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, gave the Scottish Government’s perspective to around 100 business delegates.

Finally, last month also saw the CBI Scotland team host a roundtable dinner for senior business and university representatives with the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP. An interesting and wide-ranging conversation discussed ways in which industry and Higher Education can work more closely together on innovation and exporting.