Holyrood scraps plan for public energy company – Daily Business

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A plan to set up a state-owned energy company has been dropped by the Scottish Government, Daily Business has learned.

Four years after promising a state-backed company delivering low cost power, ministers are now focusing efforts on a “new dedicated national public energy agency” that will be more of an advisory body.

First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told delegates at the party’s 2017 conference that the government would create a not-for-profit energy company promising low prices for consumers.

It would buy its energy on the wholesale market or generate it in Scotland – from renewable sources.

Since then there has been little sign of progress and in June this year, Green co-leader and now government minister Lorna Slater, criticised Ms Sturgeon for not moving fast enough on the plan.

At the weekend Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said the new SNP-Green partnership made no mention of the energy company plan in a 50-page joint policy statement.

“It’s astonishing there is not a single mention of a public energy company in the SNP and Green coalition agreement,” he said. “It adds to an ever-increasing list of broken promises from the Scottish Government.”

Labour, he said, has been calling for the proposed company to move beyond the paper stage so that it can start supporting the development of renewable energy in Scotland.

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Events facing axe over vaccine passport plan – Daily Business

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Some events planned for Scotland may be cancelled or moved to other parts of the UK if the Scottish Government does not respond to concerns over vaccine passports.

A business chief says that losing big events just as the sector is getting back on its feet would be another blow for the economy.

Vaccine passports will become mandatory to enter nightclubs, big music concerts and top football matches under new plans unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron has issued a list of seven key concerns in a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Among them is a warning that vaccination certification “would add yet another layer of administrative burden to sectors that have already been amongst the hardest hit”.

Ms Cameron adds: “Through our initial conversations with businesses, we understand those operating in the live events sector are putting in place contingency plans including considering cancelling events or re-organising for elsewhere in the UK, putting Scotland at a further economic disadvantage.”

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Why green signals danger ahead – Daily Business Magazine

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The confidence and supply agreement between the SNP and the Green Party prompted a response from business that in some media has been described as a “cautious welcome”. That’s not how it looks from here, with statements from a number of organisations indicating that there are serious grounds for concern.

CBI Scotland’s Tracy Black stated that the SNP and Scottish Greens should “not seek to shut business out of the discussion on economic recovery”, an unequivocal warning that the new quasi-coalition could fall far short of promoting what is best for business and could make it more difficult to engage with ministers in growing the economy.

Liz Cameron at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, declared: “Businesses have been clear that what they are looking for from the Scottish Government, whatever its composition, is a commitment to implement stronger pro-business policies”, an affirmation that current policies are not strong enough.

In a reminder of the precarious position many firms still find themselves in, Andrew McRae at the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, said: “We would therefore ask for a focus on building on the fragile optimism in the Scottish small business community, avoiding heaping new pressures on these operators.”