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In brief - Scotland's economy and busines

  • As it releases its annual business plan this week, the Scottish National Investment Bank is outlining its latest investment objectives. But chairman Willie Watt is also sending a warning in The Times (£) that budget cuts from the Scottish Government could constrain the bank’s future investments and self-sustainability.
  • According to Daily Business, the Institute for Fiscal Studies is sending a new warning about the UK’s public finances and calling for an “open and robust discussion” over the next few weeks of campaigning to identify real solutions.
  • The Herald (£) reports that zero-hour contracts have hit a record high in Scotland, as Labour targets the practice in its election manifesto.

OpinioNation - columns of interest

Former Scottish first minister Henry McLeish argues in The Scotsman (£) that a potential Labour government will need fresh thinking to build on the legacy of devolution initiated a quarter-century ago by Tony Blair.

With former health secretary Michael Matheson’s iPad scandal back in the news this week, Ian Macwhirter writes in The Times (£) that any attempt by John Swinney to defend his SNP colleague risks his own political standing with voters.

Fresh from the UK’s largest property and infrastructure forum, Euan Pirie analyses in The Scotsman (£) whether income strip funding could deliver an important solution to Scotland’s current housing emergency.

And are we approaching peak self-promotion in the workplace through our everyday communication? Pilita Clark questions in the Financial Times (£) whether the once-humble email sign-offs are now going too far.

Shifting the dial - recent research

According to the Diffley Partnership’s most recent Understanding Scotland survey of Scottish households – released this month – pessimism is on the rise with 62% of Scots saying things are headed in the wrong direction. That’s up from 58% just this past February and is the highest ever recorded in the series.

The week ahead - fill your diary with key events


  • Late May bank holiday
  • World Health Assembly opens: deadline for submission on pandemic preparedness accord
  • French parliament begins debate on end-of-life legislation
  • British Tomato Fortnight (to June 9)


  • In the Holyrood chamber
    • Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3 proceedings
  • In the Holyrood committee rooms
  • Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee to consider its approach to scrutinising the Housing (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1
  • Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee to consider the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2
  • NHS Waiting Times
  • Closing: Disclosure Scotland fees: discounting, waivers and accredited bodies consultation
  • No events until 9 July
  • Scottish Government data
  • Consulting Scotland
  • Westminster
  • British Retail Consortium shop price index
  • Closing arguments in Donald Trump’s hush money trial
  • Joint recognition of Palestine by Ireland, Norway and Spain to take place


  • In the Holyrood chamber
    • Portfolio questions: Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands; NHS Recovery Health and Social Care
  • In the Holyrood committee rooms
  • Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee to hear evidence from Nicola Sturgeon MSP on the Inquiry into A9 Duelling Project
  • Reports: GDP First Quarterly Estimate; GDP Monthly Estimate for March; College Performance Indicators 2022-23
  • Scottish Government data
  • South African parliamentary and presidential elections


  • In the Holyrood chamber
    • First Minister’s Questions
    • Debate: A Vision for Health and Social Care in Scotland
  • Westminster
  • Formal dissolution of Parliament
  • Prosper Forum in Edinburgh with deputy first minister Kate Forbes and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar giving keynote addresses
  • Sam Altman among speakers at AI for Good summit


  • Consulting Scotland
    • Closing: Investing in Planning: a consultation on resourcing Scotland’s planning system
  • Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) Weighted Scotland Estimates
  • Nationwide May house price index
  • World No Tobacco Day


  • Iceland presidential election
  • Polls close in India for parliamentary elections
  • UEFA Champions League final: Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
  • Latest Boeing Starliner planned launch date
  • Rupert Murdoch and Elena Zhukova’s wedding
  • Liam Gallagher begins Definitely Maybe tour


  • Mexico presidential election
  • 12P/Pons-Brooks ‘devil comet’ makes closest passage to Earth
  • 30 years ago: Chinook crash on Mull of Kintyre