World Economy

Scottish Growth Rate Lowest in G20, OECD, EU Countries

Among 46 countries, Scotland ends up languishing at the foot of the table.
Among 46 countries, Scotland ends up languishing at the foot of the table.

Nicola Sturgeon’s economic record will be attacked ahead of the Scottish budget, with the Conservatives claiming Scotland is heading for the lowest level of growth in the developed world.

With members of Scottish Parliament members set to debate stage one of the budget this week, the Scottish Tories have produced economic analysis which they will use to argue against First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for income tax hikes, SNA reported.

A dossier produced by the Conservatives compared Scottish growth rates with other countries across the G20, OECD and EU. They used GDP figures produced by the Scottish government’s independent economic forecaster, the Scottish Fiscal Commission, the Office for Budget Responsibility and the OECD.

A comparison across 46 countries showed that Scotland was 41st in 2016 with GDP growth of 0.4%. Although Scottish GDP is forecast at 0.7% in 2018 and 0.9% in 2019. Scotland is leapfrogged by other countries and ends up languishing in 46th position at the foot of the table.

With the Scottish economy lagging behind other countries, the Conservatives will argue that Finance Secretary Derek Mackay should not be raising taxes. Mackay proposes to introduce an extra 21% income tax band for earnings between £24,000 and £44,000 ($34,007 and 62,349) that will sit between the basic and higher rates. He has also put a penny on both the higher and top rates, increasing them to 41p and 46p respectively.

Tory analysis also claims the Scottish government has failed to meet two key economic targets introduced in the Scottish government’s 2007 Economic Strategy.

The first was “to raise the GDP growth rate to the UK level by 2011”. This has now been reset to an indefinite target as Scotland has failed to match UK growth in 30 of the 42 quarters since they came to power. The second target was “to match the GDP growth rate of the small independent EU countries by 2017.”

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