Douglas Fraser, Business and economy editor, Scotland

Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

Come here for my take on money matters from a Scottish perspective

Back to the future squeeze

21 September 2014
Flags for sale

So it's back to austerity. The battling over future projections for an independent Scotland's budget can be binned.

It's time to focus on the budgets which Holyrood will have, rather than the ones it might have had.

And that day of reckoning, to coin a phrase, is coming soon. John Swinney, the Finance Secretary, has been busy campaigning of late. But back at St Andrew's House, at the top of his "to do" list are the final stages of putting together a draft budget for next financial year.

It doesn't look pretty. Amid the noise of the final days of referendum campaigning, the leak of NHS management planning was a reminder that reality is about to bite.

It showed a gap of up to £450m in the NHS budget over the next two years.

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Neverendum: 'Not at this stage'

19 September 2014
Ballot boxes arriving for referendum count

So when is the next independence referendum? No, hang on. Stop whimpering like that. Bear with me. You may soon have withdrawal symptoms from the campaign, so why not plan for the next one?

After all, 1.6 million people wanted Scotland to be independent - the nationalists among them irreconcilable to UK citizenship, some of them newly and passionately mobilised to the cause.

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Scotland Decides: Headquarters - Who needs 'em?

13 September 2014
RBS sign

We're told the only threat from Scottish banks taking their registrations south of the border is that the nation's stock of brass plaques will be diminished.

The first minister said this week that Scots are interested in jobs and company operations rather than corporate name plates.

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Scotland Decides: Profit or loss?

28 August 2014
Businessmen in an office

One side has a letter with 130 signatories, who together employ 50,000 people. The other responds with 200 names, and they employ, well, quite a few as well.

One side says the case for independence has not been made. The other says "oh yes it has".

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Scotland Decides: Mandate with destiny

26 August 2014

Picking up my dictionary and looking for the definition of the word "mandate", I found this sentence: "Political authority supposed to be given by electors to [a party in] parliament".

It also gave an alternative legal definition that "someone given a mandate does so with indemnity against loss".

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Who speaks for Scottish business?

25 April 2014
Union and Scottish flags
The CBI's U-turn has delighted the pro-independence group Business for Scotland

The distinction between lobbying and political campaigning can be a fine line.

The Confederation of British Industry hasn't just stepped over it. In doing so, it's tripped over itself, and fallen on its face.

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The Shetland Dividend

24 April 2014
Gas terminal near house at Sullom Voe
There are a number of jobs linked to the Total and BP developments at Sullom Vie

Shetland has no intention of playing its oil card and pushing for its own independence, the council leader has told me.

Gary Robinson says that would be too greedy. It would mean far more wealth than Shetland could possibly use.

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Growth, insecurity and change

16 April 2014
The Grangemouth shutdown is said to have caused an 0.2% hit to Scotland's economic growth

For most of these downturn years, the Scottish economy has behaved rather like that of the UK as a whole.

As I've noted before, Scotland may be the outlier in its geography and constitution, but it's far more like the UK average than, say, London.

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Douglas added analysis to:

Sanpower buys House of Fraser in £480m deal

13 April 2014

From Mohamed al Fayed to Iceland's business buccaneers, the House of Fraser portfolio has secured its owners many of Britain's most prestigious retail locations.

And at a time of unprecedented change for the industry, that is testament to the vision of the Fraser family, and to the endurance of the department store format.

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Whisky joins the slowdown in luxury goods growth

11 April 2014
Distillery worker
Growth in Scotch whisky exports has slowed over the past two years

BenRiach whisky has strong distribution in Africa, where two of its three owners live.

In the Angolan capital, Luanda, oil-rich Chinese executives come through duty free sales at the airport, and when the senior guy picks up a £300 bottle of single malt, then others in his party are honour-bound to do the same.

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About Douglas

Douglas joined BBC Scotland at the moment the financial crisis struck in 2008, reporting on the meltdown at RBS and the collapse of Dunfermline Building Society.

His beat also includes close attention to the offshore oil and renewable energy sectors, and he takes a mostly professional interest in whisky.

Working in Scottish journalism since 1989, he previously worked for The Herald and The Scotsman, among other newspapers.

He has covered politics from the Holyrood parliament, as well as education, the arts and the Highlands and Islands.

He is co-author of the Political Guide to Modern Scotland.

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