On the labour market, Stephen Leckie said: “Skills shortages and availability of talent continue to act as a major barrier for business expansion. The Scottish Government’s £2.4 billion investment into colleges, universities and the wider skills system must remain agile to align with future economic demand to ensure we have a talent pool ready to contribute to the economy.

“Businesses are rightly asking why practical existing schemes such as the Flexible Workforce Development Fund have been scrapped, considering the challenges firms face regarding training and upskilling talent. The news of a reduction in funded University places is also a major concern for the business community when we need as many highly skilled graduates to enter the workforce as possible.

“On top of these concerns, companies are now grappling with the increasing tax burden of working in Scotland, making it more challenging to retain and attract talent. The introduction of a new income tax band is impacting on our competitiveness and depleting the spending power of individuals in the economy. Anyone in Scotland who makes more than £28,850 will now pay higher taxes than workers elsewhere in the UK.


Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

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