About the Inquiry
Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee focused its pre-budget 2020-21
scrutiny on Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) and other financial support for
businesses provided by Scotland’s enterprise agencies. It was our expectation
that this would feed into Scottish Government budget plans and policy
Committee wanted to hear from businesses that had received RSA or other
financial support from Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise
over the past ten years. We wanted to understand what impact these grants have
had and whether grant support could be improved.
We also wanted to hear from businesses that had applied for RSA funding but have not had their applications accepted.
In addition, the Committee wanted to gain an understanding of how the enterprise agencies measure the impact of the grant support they provide. This was fundamentally important to the Committee, as it attempted to focus more on the outcomes of public sector budgets.
the Committee wanted to hear from any others with views on these matters.
The remit of
this pre-budget scrutiny was:
To examine the impact of Regional
Selective Assistance (RSA), and other enterprise agency financial support, in
delivering the Scottish Government’s economic goals. Specifically, the
Committee is interested in whether RSA helps businesses become more productive
and internationally-focused, whether RSA impacts employment levels and fair work practices and the future of
such support mechanisms.”
The Committee issued a call for written views. The deadline for submissions was 16 August 2019.
Read the Call for Written Views.
The Committee received submissions from:
The Committee also received submissions from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
of the Committee visited a number of businesses to discuss the inquiry.
Here are the notes of these visits:
Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise followed up on points raised at the evidence session on 24 September 2019.
Scottish Enterprise provided the following supplementary evidence.
On 7 October 2019 Scottish Enterprise provided a table of the total Regional Selective Assistance rejections and withdrawals from 2014/15 to 2018/19.
The Committee wrote to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise on 20 June 2019.
Letter to Scottish Enterprise (105KB pdf)
Letter to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (105KB pdf)
The Committee wrote to Scottish Enterprise on 25 September 2019 seeking additional information on regional selective assistance. Scottish Enterprise provided additional evidence on 26 September and Steve Dunlop responded on 30 September.
On 2 October 2019 the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy. The Cabinet Secretary responded on 7 October 2019.
On 8 October 2019 the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work provided additional evidence.
On 22 October 2019 Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work wrote to the Committee regarding the Scottish Growth Scheme.
11th Report, 2019 (Session 5): Pre-budget scrutiny 2020-21
The Scottish Government responded on 6 February 2020.
On 6 February 2020, Dame Susan Rice of the Scottish Fiscal Commission wrote to the Committee regarding the publication of Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts.
Dr Angela O’Hagan, the Independent Chair of
the Scottish Government’s Equality Budgetary Advisory Group wrote to the Committee on 13 February 2020 regarding equality analysis within budget scrutiny.
The Committee took evidence from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills at its meeting on 18 February 2020.
The Committee wrote to the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills on 20 February 2020 with a follow up to the evidence session. The Minister replied on 10 March 2020.