Tavish has today warned that the new overarching board should not jeopardise the future of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
In Parliament yesterday the Economy Secretary Keith Brown announced that plans for a national strategic board for enterprise and skills will go ahead. HIE and other agencies will retain their name but will be subject to the objectives set by the new national board.
Commenting, Tavish Scott said:
“Highlands & Islands Enterprise should set its own strategy. A strategy based on what the Highlands & Islands need. Economic and social development from Skaw in Unst to Argyll. But no longer. The HIE strategy will be determined by a central belt based board. Once the one-Scotland approach has been decided, HIE can implement that.
"Sadly this is a step backwards. The only justification the government make is that their own agencies fail to help HIE with international work for local businesses. That is an appalling admission. Minsters should read the riot act. They should sort that out.
"No evidence has been presented that shows HIE is not working, either by the government or in the Crerar report. So why place HIE under a central belt board when the problems all appear to be in Glasgow? I fear this is the slippery slope to merging all the economic development bodies into one super quango."