Fife Chamber CEO Update January 2024
May I first wish you all a good New Year and hope you had an enjoyable Christmas Period. I can’t believe that January is almost over, although it is nice to see the longer days and lighter nights returning as we look forward towards Spring.
The Scottish Budget has come and gone and is now a distant memory. It was not as well received by the Business Community as was first hoped.
The key points were as follows:-
- A new tax band of 45% for higher earners in Scotland, which will apply to those earning between £75,000 and £125,140, and the top rate of tax for the highest earners is also increasing from 47% to 48%.
- The Scottish government also advised that it will fully fund its proposed council tax freeze, providing local government with the equivalent of a 5% rise.
- Funding for NHS will rise by £550m or 4.3%
- The 2024/25 housing budget was reduced by more than £200 million.
Within this month’s Fife Chamber newsletter, we include an interesting article from our Partners ‘Thomson Cooper’ on the importance of reviewing your pension on a regular basis. Currently, you are able to access your pension from age 55 although this is set to change from 2028 to age 58. It is always worth considering a pension MOT and looking at how you manage this moving forward.
I also wanted to highlight an interesting article included within the Newsletter relating to the plans for an Eco-Wellness and Leisure Park at the former open cast mine. There are two public consultations over the coming weeks which will be held at Kingseat Community Centre on Thursday 8th February and on Thursday 7th March at Kelty Community Centre respectively, both between 3.30pm and 7.30pm.
Forth Green Freeport
May I remind you of the upcoming ‘Forth Green Freeport’ event which is now being held at the Double Tree Hilton, North Queensferry, overlooking the Forth Estuary on the 7th of February 2024 where we will be asking Forth Ports, Fife Council and Fife College what are the plans and opportunities in Fife and across the region. Please make sure you book a ticket for the event on our website. You will be given the chance to ask questions directly to the Senior Stakeholders on the day.
We were delighted to host our first Fife Social at ‘Kelty Hearts’ earlier this month which was well attended and received. It was a very interesting evening and highlighted the challenges and opportunities that exist within the lower leagues of the Scottish Football pyramid.
The nominations for this year’s event have now closed and we are currently starting the judging process. Tickets for the event are now available on our website and this year we will be assisting with travel to and from the event with our strategic partner ‘Stagecoach’. Watch this space for further information.
Our Membership continues to grow from strength to strength across all sectors in Fife and we welcome introductions from our current valued Membership. Please do get in touch if you have feedback on how we are helping you and your business or how we can help you connect and make your Business prosper.
Our plans continue to grow for 2024. To date, we have the following dates for your diary.
11th Sep - Business Expo
CEO, Fife Chamber of Commerce