“The best way to boost tax revenues in the long-term is through improving growth in the economy as a whole and supporting Scottish business…”
The news that Revenue Scotland – the tax authority responsible for the administration of Scotland’s devolved taxes – exceeded collection targets in its first year should not make the Government complacent on the importance of a radical growth strategy for Scottish business, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Scotland.
Craig Vickery, head of ACCA Scotland, said: “The success of Revenue Scotland exceeding expectations by £74 million in its first year should be acknowledged and merits congratulations.
“Yet while it shows the benefit of accessible and efficient reporting, the Government must not forget the most important lesson: that the best way to boost tax revenues in the long-term is through improving growth in the economy as a whole and supporting Scottish business.”
Vickery argues that a growth strategy will become even more important following the reduction in Scotland’s block grant from Westminster,
“The reduction of the grant assumes that Scotland will maintain the same growth rate as the rest of the UK. This means that to grow Government revenues for public service investment, the economy will have to not only match but outperform the rest of the country.
“This is achievable but will require significant collaboration between Government and business to fund much-needed infrastructural investment and ensure that our workforce possess the right skills to compete globally’
Vickery thinks that this will require more ambition in national and local government:
“Whilst government and local authorities have been quick to reassure firms in the wake of the referendum that it will remain ‘business as usual’ for the immediate future, the reality is that much more is needed regardless of how Brexit is negotiated.”