Scottish Enterprise: A Head Rolls, But Why?
12th October 2020
BBC Scotland economy editor Douglas Fraser examines Steve Dunlop's resignation as head of Scottish Enterprise, less than three years into the job. It does not make for good reading about the state of business politics in Scotland. After reading this confidence may be less. Has government really got a grip on the economy and business?.
There's growing frustration and anger within Scottish business at the latest restrictions on commercial activity, and questions about the advice ministers are hearing.
Some of that frustration is also apparent in the sudden resignation of the boss of Scottish Enterprise.
Steve Dunlop says this is the "right time", but behind that lies prolonged attrition and a struggle to move forward on economic initiatives.
There's anger and frustration within the business community, and it extends into the Scottish government's lead agency on the economy.
Business lobby groups say they understand the difficult balancing act that ministers have to perform in deciding on infection control measures. But their patience is wearing thin with the decisions being made.
Health advice is coming at ministers from world-class experts. Ministers say they are trying to retain a bond between politicians and the public they represent, as key to the compliance they need.
But who is speaking for business at the Scottish cabinet table? Maybe it is economy secretary Fiona Hyslop. Finance secretary Kate Forbes has a brief that crosses into economic issues.
Veteran SNP figure and minister Fergus Ewing is responsible for links into the tourism sector, and was the key to the measures agreed on Friday for spending £40m to mitigate the new lockdown measures.
But he's long been seen as a rare voice of the economic right of the SNP, and some distance from the First Minister's economic instincts.
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