The new regional policy and the Scottish economy

Ashcroft, B K (1985) The new regional policy and the Scottish economy. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 10 (3). pp. 75-79. ISSN 0306-7866

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The Government's new regional policy was finally announced on 28 November last year. The announcement constituted the culmination of a review of regional policy which began under Sir Keith Joseph in 1979. The 1983 White Paper, Regional Industrial Development Cmnd 9111, December (reviewed in the Commentary, February 1984), made clear the direction in which the Government was moving. The stated aim was to concentrate resources more closely on areas and communities in need and to make the policy more cost effective. This was to be achieved by a move to a more discretionary and less automatic incentive structure; greater emphasis on job creation and less on capital investment per se; less discrimination against service industries and emphasis on local job creation rather than job diversion The remainder of this article will try to assess the implications of these changes for the Scottish economy. We consider first the estimates or the scale of the cuts, then secondly, the likely short-term job-creation effects. Finally, the implications for development over the longer term are considered.