TRADE unions have criticised the Scottish Government for greenlighting the UK’s investment zone plans in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Each region will now qualify for numerous tax relief measures as well as being backed by up £80 million.

The zones were initially cooked up by former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng during Liz Truss’s tenure as prime minister.

However, they have been carried forward by Jeremy Hunt who announced that 12 new zones would be created across the UK, including two in Scotland, to “drive business investment and level up” back in March.

The Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary, Neil Gray, said that the zones would “enhance” the country’s economy after being tailored to suit Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

READ MORE: Aberdeen and Glasgow to become first 'investment zones' in Scotland

But the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has blasted the scheme as being incompatible with ambitions for a wellbeing economy, which plans to untether economic measures of success from GDP growth.

Roz Foyer, the STUC's general secretary, said: “In the same week that the IMF announced corporate profits are the main driver of inflation across Europe, it’s regrettable and illuminating of their priorities that the Scottish Government would sign off on a scheme that incentivises corporate tax breaks.

“For all the tinkering and alleged amending this scheme will now have in Scotland, we must ensure government rhetoric matches government action and that Fair Work is at the heart of any plan for economic growth.

“All the evidence shows that tax avoidance zones displace existing economic activity, rather than create new economic activity.

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“If the Scottish Government are serious about creating a wellbeing economy, they should prioritise their Community Wealth Building approach over this scheme which seeks to prioritise those at the top.

“We need a robust system of taxation for the super-wealthy, including wealth and property taxes which benefit, first and foremost, those most in need.”

Conservation charities have also previously expressed concern about investment zones, with the RSPB blasting them as an “attack on nature” which will result in building taking place “anywhere” regardless of its impact of biodiversity.

However, business groups have welcomed the move, with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce claiming the zones "will help galvanise the key sectors in these regions to innovate".