Economy in Deloitte in Scotland
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Scotland’s sluggish economic performance over the last few years has been well-documented. In the face of a difficult period for the North Sea oil and gas industry and, more recently, a decline in construction activity and subdued growth in services, the country’s economy has struggled to build any significant momentum. But could that be about to change? Progress is slow and continues to lag behind the UK, but there is an air of cautious optimism.
To support Deloitte’s leadership role in developing the Fintech strategy in Scotland, we recently ran a workshop with the University of Edinburgh’s MSc Accountancy & Finance students to bring to life the complexities of developing and launching a Fintech start-up. With brilliant mentorship from Craig Paterson of the Data Lab, we set 3 teams the challenge of building a business case with projected expenditure and revenues, considering recent market opportunities presented by Open Banking, and capabilities such as artificial intelligence and robotics.
With the introduction of the Scottish income tax, we now have a more direct link between the economy, tax receipts and the Scottish Budget. The significance of the Barnett Formula block grant has been reduced, and this will expose the budget in Scotland to the risk of a reduction in economic performance but will mean that the Scottish Government will have more to spend if the economy grows.
With the end of the financial year upon us, now is a good time to reflect on Scotland’s economic performance over the last twelve months and perhaps more importantly, consider the challenges that lie ahead.
With DataFest 18 coming up and Deloitte’s team organising our second Datathon in the Edinburgh office, I’ve been thinking about how I went from being a casual competition-goer to a consultant in the firm. To quote one of our directors, I’ve gone “from Datathon to Deloitte” – a journey I didn’t necessarily expect to go through one year ago.
The deadline for 2016/17 tax returns is only days away. Those who are self-employed, receive rental or savings income over certain limits, or who have made capital gains over the annual exemption of £11,100 for 2016/17 will need to complete their self-assessment by the end of the month. People who receive child benefit and where the higher earner in the couple has income of over £50,000 are also affected.
The UK economy has proven its resilience and ability to successfully navigate change many times throughout history. But we can’t take this for granted. It’s critical that we remain competitive, retain our strength in innovation, develop and attract the skills our economy needs and convert that to inclusive growth and prosperity for all.
Over the past two decades Deloitte’s Fast 50 programme has celebrated the fastest growing companies in the UK. The world has changed a lot during that time but all winning businesses have consistently shared one enviable trait: they have recorded ultra-rapid growth, often in an uncertain environment.
By Lyndsay MacGregor, Associate Director, Tax
Over the past 15 or so years, we have seen many hundreds of companies implement equity incentives using ‘Growth Shares’.
Growth Shares are a bespoke solution, such that no two arrangements are the same. However, in general terms, they are a separate class of shares, which only deliver a return at a point in the future (generally on exit) and only to the extent that the value of the underlying company at that time exceeds a pre-determined threshold.
Numbers are important. They have a helpful way of conveying results in an easily-digestible, unerring format. But, perhaps I would say that, given my profession.
In my last blog, I talked about a lot of numbers. Last year Deloitte’s UK Group delivered 13.6% growth, breaching £3 billion in revenue for the first time. The firm has invested in 30 start-ups, 20 of which were developed by our own people. Our number of partners and directors in Scotland rose to 35 and 45, while we also recruited 53 graduates and 10 BrightStarts.