ICAS calls on politicians to put economy first

Scottish Parliament

23 March 2016

ICAS launches Counting on Change document in run-up to Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

ICAS has called on politicians contesting the Scottish Parliamentary Elections to put "promoting the performance and productivity of the Scottish economy first".

ICAS Chief Executive, Anton Colella, said: “We want to see a debate in the coming weeks which recognises that growing the economy by making Scotland a more attractive place to do business is the best way to improve our public finances and benefit wider society.

"ICAS believes that a five-year roadmap for Scottish tax policy is vital for the confidence and stability that business seeks.

"Our message is clear, it’s in all our interests that Scotland is perceived as a great place to do business."

ICAS published its Election Document today (Thursday), aimed at all political parties contesting the election. It states:

  • Further devolution of taxes should not add to the complexity and burden of doing business in Scotland and must not put Scottish businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
  • The next Scottish Government should do all it can, within its power, to simplify the tax system.
  • The next Scottish Government must renew its focus on education to deliver the right skills and the right people to support the current and future needs of the economy.
  • The next Scottish Government should work with the business community to develop a new plan to promote a step-change in exports.

ICAS also believes that as more tax powers are devolved there is a need for greater independent scrutiny of the public finances. There is also a need for a better quality of challenge for legislation being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

The ICAS Election Document states:

  • ICAS welcomes the recently agreed enhanced powers for the Scottish Fiscal Commission and believes that truly independent, authoritative analysis of the public finances is vital in the public interest.
  • The Scottish Government should do more to provide clearer and more transparent reporting of its spending; its performance against KPIs; and delivery against outcomes.
  • There should be stronger challenge and scrutiny of the development of legislation. The next Scottish Government should consider a fourth stage in the legislative process post-amendments and should bring in post-legislative reviews.
  • The Scottish Parliament’s committee conveners should be elected independently of party political considerations, based on the “best person for the job” criteria.

Making Tax Work for Scotland

ICAS has also published Making Tax Work for Scotland which sets out the information and issues around tax that we believe should be key in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

ICAS Tax Conference

Find out more about Scotland's Taxes and other important topics at the ICAS Tax Conference 2016.


  • Tax
  • Thought leadership
  • Political landscape
  • Business

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