Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sir Tom Hunter commented;

“Were this a business, which in most part it is, I would have focussed far more attention on asking the customer what is needed i.e. consulting with the people that are going to generate the jobs and economic prosperity.

“What we have here is a long wish list with no magic wand to deliver it, which I do not believe is market tested nor pragmatic. We need a far more focussed approach to economic delivery and one single body with absolute authority and responsibility for that delivery with no one checking their own homework.

“We also need to tackle the various elephants in the room. If we are truly focussed on increased productivity we need to address that in our public sector. 

“Scotland has 579400 public sector employees; Denmark 338000; the latter being the second happiest place on earth with 400 000 more of a population and we have 75% of their output per person.* 

“Improve public sector productivity and you are well on the way to delivering growth.

“And were Scotland a business would we have thirty two subsidiaries? Our agencies such as Scottish Enterprise, which incidentally should be taken out of political control, must readjust to the future needs of business and be fit for purpose and our ambition be far greater – the Scottish National Investment Bank is vastly undercapitalised for its purpose if it is to achieve it.

“To be clear I admire Kate Forbes and I believe she sees the opportunities but in politics multiple interests tend to prevail as is apparent here.

“What we need is a business led economic growth strategy where we turbo charge scale-ups; the only entities that move the economic dial and greater support for early stage high growth businesses. Combine that with a productivity drive across the economic landscape including the public sector and an education system fit for purpose and we have a chance of winning in the global race for economic prosperity.

“Let business and Government genuinely come together, agree targets, timescales, budgets and responsibilities and get on with it.”