21 January 2020

Today in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government’s ‘Scottish National Investment Bank Bill’ was passed, including a number of amendments tabled by Scottish Labour.

Among the amendments accepted were Jackie Baillie’s amendments to ensure the Scottish National Investment Bank implements a gender equality strategy and equal pay review to help tackle the gender pay gap.

In addition the amendment to ensure the National Investment Bank promotes fair work and pays their employees a living wage.

Despite this, Scottish Labour’s amendment to enshrine collective bargaining principles into the bank’s legislation was rejected, displaying a failure on the government’s part to support good employment practice and flying in the face of the SNP’s commitment to promote collective bargaining as codified in their ‘programme for government 2019-2020’.

Scottish Labour is also disappointed over the amount of funding that will be made available to the Scottish National Investment Bank, £2bn over 10 years, which represents a tenth of the funding proposed by Scottish Labour.

Commenting, Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said:

“ While we are happy that our amendments designed to promote gender equality and fair work have been supported, we cannot hide the fact that we view the Scottish National Investment Bank, as it is now being formulated, as a missed opportunity.

“The failure of the SNP government to ensure collective bargaining rights are enshrined in the legislation for the Scottish National Investment Bank, despite promises otherwise, is disappointing but we will continue to work with the Cabinet Secretary to make it a reality.”

Commenting, Scottish Labour Finance, Jobs and Fair Work Spokesperson, Rhoda Grant MSP, said:

“ The relatively small amount of money that will be made available to the bank, as well as the SNP’s timidity in terms of ensuring the bank is run on entirely ethical grounds, means that the bank will be a shadow of the high-investment, ethical bank that Scottish Labour have campaigned for.”

“We are disappointed that the Government has failed to set out an ethical standards document today. This could leave the door open for the bank to put investments before ethical standards.”
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