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Give MSPs a formal role in setting long term aims of the Scottish National Investment Bank, economy committee recommends

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Give MSPs a formal role in setting long term aims of the Scottish National Investment Bank, economy committee recommends

MSPs should be given a formal role setting the long term aims of the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has recommended.

In a new report MSPs backed the creation of the SNIB, with the committee supporting the general principles of the bill at stage one, but called for more information on the purpose of an advisory group and the role of MSPs when it comes to setting its mission.

The bill will establish the SNIB as a public limited company, giving Scottish ministers the necessary powers to capitalise it, and leaving them with the power to set its strategic direction.

The policy memorandum attached to the bill outlines plans for the SNIB to be operationally and administratively independent, but with Scottish ministers setting the parameters within which it should work.

Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst said: “From the array of evidence we heard the Scottish National Investment Bank has the potential to be a positive and integral part of the Scottish economy.

“However, there are areas covered by the bill and accompanying documents on which further work is required to ensure that the bank’s full potential is achieved.”

He added: “The committee considers that there is a crucial and formal role that MSPs should continue to play in the development of the bank. Similar processes exist in other pieces of comparable legislation and would be entirely appropriate here.

“In coming to this conclusion the committee recognised the vital role the bank will play in fundamental policy matters such as social housing, climate change or the care system, to name but a few.”

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