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SNP has spent a decade chasing headlines rather than export markets

1 Mar 2018

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP speaking during First Minister's Questions held in the Scottish parliament, Edinburgh today. 09 June 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Nicola Sturgeon has spent a decade chasing headlines rather than export markets, Ruth Davidson said today – as figures show how the SNP is missing its own targets to sell Scotland’s products abroad.

It comes after the SNP Government this week unveiled the latest version of its National Investment Bank, nine years after first proposing the idea in 2009.

Analysis by the Scottish Conservatives shows how:

  • The SNP first proposed an investment bank were in 2009;
  • Changed the plan to set up a Business Development bank in 2013;
  • Dumped the plan in 2016;
  • Then announced a new half-billion pound Scottish Growth Fund – which has so far delivered barely a penny;
  • Before finally unveiling a new Scottish National Investment Bank in 2017.

At First Minister’s Questions, Ruth Davidson said that as a consequence of a “decade of dither and delay” under the SNP, the Scottish Government was due to fall £27 billion short of its target to increase exports by 50%.

The Scottish Conservatives also published a Freedom of Information request which asked for details of the National Investment Bank.

Highlighting the confusion over the SNP’s plans for the economy, the First Minister’s office asked in response: “Grateful for confirmation as to whether your enquiry refers to the Scottish National Investment Bank or the Scottish Investment Bank.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:

“The challenge of securing economic growth for Scotland is the most important issue facing the Scottish Government. Instead we have had a decade of dither and delay.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for a Scottish National Investment Bank was first proposed in 2009. Now, nearly ten years on, not even the First Minister’s office seems to know exactly what plans are in place.

“The SNP told us in 2010 that they would increase exports by 50%. Their own figures show they are running short by the small matter of £27 billion.

“That’s the price of an SNP that’s keen to get the headlines for launches and relaunches but forgets to build the actual bank until 9 years later.

“This SNP Government isn’t working for Scotland. We need a Scottish Conservative government to deliver for Scotland and secure the economic growth we need.”