SNP growth commission to set out fresh economic case for Scottish independence
Scottish independence would boost the economy and allow Scotland to match other successful small countries, according to the findings of the SNP’s sustainable growth commission.
The study, led by former MSP Andrew Wilson, was commissioned by Nicola Sturgeon 18 months ago to establish a fresh economic case for independence, and will report tomorrow.
Opposition parties have called the report “fantasy numbers” and argue Scotland can be more successful as part of the United Kingdom.
The 354-page report will compare an independent Scotland with “small advanced economies” such as Denmark and New Zealand, and argue that it could match the median GDP per person.
Wilson said: "As a first step there must be an acceptance that small nations can be successful and that Scotland can be one of those countries.
“Our work shows that small countries can be amongst the most economically successful countries in the world, with higher standards of living and lower levels of inequality than many larger economies.
“There is nothing intrinsic in any of the best performing economies that Scotland does not have. To secure an improvement in our performance will take purposeful strategic effort for over a generation. We require world class policy, world class institutions and cross partisan effort if we are to achieve our ambition to create a much more successful economy and cohesive and fair society.”
The report suggests such success would take “a generation” and would require a focus on longer-term strategies including investing in innovation and exports and welcoming immigration.
The Scottish Conservatives called the report “nonsense”.
Deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “The SNP can pluck out any number of fanciful examples, but it won't change the fact Scotland is far more prosperous and secure as part of the UK.
“People are still asking the question why the SNP is putting so much effort into a question that was settled decisively just a few years ago.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “The people of Scotland will rightly be wary of fantasy numbers plucked from thin air by the SNP and promised to every man, woman and child in the country in the event of Scotland leaving the UK.
“Only Labour is proposing to change our economy and make it work for everyone,by making the richest and big corporations pay their fair share,and an industrial strategy with the state playing a more active role in economic growth.”