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HIE budget cut not justified says MSP

13th December 2018

The region's development agency is in line to have its 2019/20 budget slashed by £10.6million under Scottish Government proposals.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said that the region needed a strong Highlands and Islands Enterprise in today's fragile and shaky economic situation, especially with the backdrop of the Brexit fiasco.

"Two years ago Labour campaigned to save HIE from a merger with Scottish Enterprise and won. Now it looks like the Scottish Government is diminishing it by stealth, imposing yearly cuts to its budget," said the Highlands and Islands MSP.

"HIE needs to maintain or increase its budget, especially in the light of the collapse of Cairngorm Mountain Ltd and the on-going work to bring stability to this year’s snow sports season and to help the Aviemore economy.

“In 2007/2008 HIE’s budget was £103million, now it’s £61.1million. You can’t tell me that this region needs less money to enhance economic development. The figures speak for themselves."

The Scottish Government’s Budget Bill will be before Parliament in the New Year.

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