Readers' letters: Scotland attracts foreign investment

" Scotland is bucking the investment trends, none of them a result of remaining in the UK”

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 7:00 am
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces Scottish Enterprise funding
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces Scottish Enterprise funding

Scotland attracts foreign investment

It was striking to note the figures from EY highlighting that in 2020 Scotland was the most attractive location outside London for foreign direct investment (FDI), accounting to 11 per cent of UK projects, up from nine per cent in 2019.

That success contrasts with declines in investment of 12 per cent for the UK as a whole and 13 per cent across Europe. The survey ranked Edinburgh as the UK’s top city outside London for FDI,

Scotland’s impressive performance came in the face of the global Covid 19 pandemic and as opinion poll after poll show a majority of those in Scotland would support independence, puts paid to the myth that independence will ‘frighten off’ investors.

Scotland is bucking the investment trends, none of them a result of remaining in the UK, highlighted by Scottish Enterprise as being down to the quality of our workforce as well as a competitive cost base, world-class universities and a supportive business environment.

While “Project Fear” is alive and well, with many of those opposing independence, it is simply not borne out by the facts.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Power is no good if it remains unused

Shona Robison, social justice secretary and failed former health secretary, demands the usual ‘more powers’ to tackle poverty

In fact, the Scotland Act 2016 assigned Holyrood responsibility for introducing 11 new social security benefits. When given the opportunity to implement these, Nicola Sturgeon’s regime requested that Westminster remain responsible for them until 2024.

They have been found out by Professor James Mitchell of Edinburgh University, who is on record as saying: ‘The Scottish parliament at the moment has got the powers to do an awful lot and they’re not really using them. They’re not really addressing poverty with the kind of focus that the language and rhetoric would suggest. You have it in your gift to do a lot. Let’s see if you can get on with it’.

This sums up the SNP regime in a nutshell. They constantly demand ‘more powers’ and focus on process but they don’t make use of the ‘levers’actually to achieve a difference.

The SNP has had 14 years to lift Scots out of poverty. Instead, they have squandered money on failed projects and international grandstanding. It really is not good enough.

Jill Stephenson, Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.

Action not words needed over climate

From 11–13 June, Boris Johnson will host a meeting of seven of the richest countries in the world in Cornwall. Top of the agenda at the G7 summit is post-pandemic recovery and preparation for COP26, the United Nations climate summit that will take place in Glasgow in November.

Over the last few months there has been lots of rhetoric about transformational green investments. These investments are real, but still smaller than the amounts of money being pumped into fossil fuels.

A report published this month shows that the G7 countries committed $189bn to support oil, coal and gas between January 2020 and March 2021. In comparison, the same countries spent $147bn on clean forms of energy.

The Edinburgh COP 26 Coalition, part of a UK-wide coalition, is holding a socially distanced rally at the Scottish Parliament at 11am on Saturday 12 June. We are demanding that the G7 leaders end the greenwashing rhetoric and take genuine action on climate change now.

Pete Cannell, Edinburgh COP 26 Coalition.