Scott: Government forced to admit no support for abolishing HIE board


Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has today slammed the Scottish Government as it was forced to admit that no one made the case for abolishing the board of Highlands & Islands Enterprise. 

In response to a Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information request seeking a list of individuals or organisations who had made the case for abolition in the Scottish Government's consultation, a Scottish Government official revealed “we [The Scottish Government] have not collated such a list” and admitted the Scottish Government must “look to consider further how the concerns raised in the call for evidence might be remedied." 

Mr Scott accused Scottish Government Ministers of “hiding the truth, even in the face of questioning.”

The revelation follows exchanges at Holyrood’s Education Committee in December where, following Mr Scott’s questioning, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work refused to detail which organisations supported the Scottish Government’s plan. 

The Holyrood committee is now considering holding an inquiry into proposed changes to the boards of Scotland's enterprise agencies. 

Mr Scott said:

“Nationalist ministers cannot provide a shred of support for their ill-judged plans. No one made the case for abolishing HIE’s board and no one supports the government plan. It is astonishing that they remain so single minded in their bid to abolish the strategic decision making of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 

“This centralisation is driven by SNP ministers and no one else. SNP Ministers must get real. There must now be a full vote at Parliament on their ill-judged plans. A vote they will lose."


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