A new report by the Sustainable Growth Commission has been welcomed by local MSP Stuart McMillan and MP Ronnie Cowan. The commission, established by the First Minister in September 2016 and chaired by Andrew Wilson, and funded entirely by the SNP. It was given the remit –
To assess projections for Scotland’s economy and public finances, consider the implications for
our economy and finances under different potential governance scenarios, and make recommendations for policy on:
• Measures to boost economic growth and improve Scotland’s public finances – both now in the
aftermath of the EU referendum and in the context of independence.
• The potential for and best use of savings from UK programmes in the event of independence, such as Trident.
• The range of transitional cost and benefits associated with independence and arrangements for
dealing with future revenue windfalls, including future North Sea revenues.
The core finding of the commission is that an independent Scotland can emulate the world’s 12 best
performing small advanced economies (SAEs), closing the growth gap and driving GDP per head to
the median of these best-performing economies.
Commenting, Stuart said;
“This report highlights the tremendous strengths of Scotland’s economic assets and advantages. We have some of the most skilled people in the world working in finance, life sciences and education.
‘The commission very much points out that being a small independent country is nothing to be scared of, with the 12 small advanced nations that the commission focused on having effective, responsive governments, with a well-developed sense of strategic capacity, high levels of trust and social cohesion, and the ability to adapt in response to changing international circumstances.
‘Further, small advanced economies also tend to do well on measures of the extent to which the gains from growth are broadly shared. Many small advanced economies, notably those in Northern Europe,
have low levels of income inequality. Scotland benefits from many if not all of the things the best performing small advanced independent nations benefit from, again highlighting how successful a small Scotland can and will be.”
Ronnie Cowan MP and Member of the Constitution Committee added;
“I welcome the launch of the Sustainable Growth Commission report looking into Scotland’s future. Scotland has a strong and growing economy, with the independent Fraser of Allander Institute predicting higher growth and lower unemployment than the UK by 2020.
“The biggest threat to Scotland’s economy comes from the UK Government’s disastrous policy of leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
“Scotland now has the opportunity to look at how we seize the opportunities that lie ahead – a debate that is well informed and based on ambition and hope, not a debate that’s based on despair, which is how the Brexit debate very often feels.”