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THE Scottish National Investment Bank must be up and running as soon as possible in order to facilitate an investment-led recovery, Scottish Labour said today.
Party leader Richard Leonard called on the SNP government to bring the opening of the Scottish National Investment Bank forward to stimulate the country’s economy and support businesses that have been damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank was initially scheduled to begin operation this spring, but is now not expected to begin until the autumn of this year.
Mr Leonard said: “The time has come to get the Scottish National Investment Bank up and running to meet the enormous challenges Scotland now faces.
“Investment is badly needed to kick-start Scotland’s economy and the powers of the Scottish National Investment Bank must be utilised to lead this recovery with immediate effect.”
The bank was announced as part of the 2017/18 Programme for Government to support ambitious companies and important infrastructure projects, by making it easier to borrow money over a longer term.
Scottish Labour is calling for the bond-issuing powers of the Scottish National Investment Bank to be used to pave the way for large-scale investment in housing and infrastructure projects.
Mr Leonard added: “We also need the Scottish National Investment Bank’s bond issuing powers to be used to invest heavily in housing and in the infrastructure projects Scotland badly needs.
“The powers of the Scottish National Investment Bank are substantial and the time has come for these powers to be put into practice in the interests of the people of Scotland.”
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