Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey have urged the Scottish Government to hit the pause button on plans for its controversial deposit return scheme.

Speaking on their Go Radio Business Show, Sir Tom said: “The Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Scottish Council for Development, the Federation for Small Business, Scottish Wholesale Association and CBI Scotland all came together to write a letter to the First Minister of Scotland saying: ‘Please delay this until you listen to businesses, our questions and our ideas.’

“But here’s the political point. Am I right in thinking the Scottish Government need the UK Government’s approval? And they only asked for it last week?”

Lord Willie pointed out this was certainly a bone of contention, adding: “Some people are saying they don’t need approval and others are saying they do. However, what I thought was most interesting is this is just another policy where things have not been properly thought through. It’s back to a situation where they should have taken twice as long to look at the downsides.

“The people who are trying to operate it are even finding that some of the machines have broken down already.

“I think this has a long way to go but the best thing to do is to take that advice from all those bodies mentioned and just pause it until you know it’s workable.

“At the moment, it looks just like all of the other parliamentary bills – in fact, the last three or four bills that have been put through – that have all been rushed.”

Sir Tom admitted the difficult thing for him personally was the fact the deposit return scheme had been pushed by the Greens who, he said, simply do not believe in economic growth.

“I’m not sure what they believe in order to pay for social services in Scotland, but they don’t believe in economic growth,” he said. “Every one of the candidates to be First Minister is going to pause the scheme. So why don’t the Greens admit this is inevitable? Press pause and don’t cause businesses any more worry or money.

“We should be saying: ‘Wait until we have a new First Minister’. He or she can then take a view on this.”