Nicola Sturgeon wants to measure Scotland’s economic success by wellbeing/quality of life, not just GDP. But where’s the beef? The Scottish Budget in February will be the test of what lies behind the rhetoric.
‘It will simply not be sufficient for the UK Government to highlight risks with independence. The status quo itself has important policy challenges, whether that be the economic costs of leaving the EU Single Market or the economic effect of limits on immigration.’
‘The most technologically savvy generation in history – the ‘Zoomers’ – are about to join the workforce. They have different priorities, one being better stewardship of the planet. Building a better future depends on embracing the positive.’ But there are negatives too…
The Scottish Budget was due on December 12, #GE2019 day, but will almost certainly be pulled until after the UK Budget is presented early next year on the back of wild spending promises. Even pre-Brexit the Scottish outlook is more than unusually uncertain…
‘Perhaps most of all, the importance of setting out a stable long-term environment for investment will be the most effective policy that anyone could set. It will also require international cooperation, both in terms of connectivity, R&D and investment.’
‘We can hope that any future constitutional debate considers these long-term issues more seriously, preferably in an open and respectful way – although evidence from the annual GERS furore suggests that this may be a little too much to ask for.’
‘The comment by the Scottish Finance Secretary at the time of publication that “Scotland’s economy and public finances are strong” seems fanciful given any reasonable analysis of recent low economic growth figures and a still high, by international standards, fiscal deficit.’
‘Much more could be done by government to defend these statistics and proactively clear-up misunderstandings.’
The Euro elections are over; now the EU is choosing new leaders for the next five years along wioth a new focus on industrial policy. Are you in, Scotand?
‘Underlying (onshore) economic and fiscal fundamentals are little different now to at the time of the first referendum. Economic debate around any second referendum is therefore likely to concentrate on: productivity growth prospects; how to narrow Scotland’s fiscal deficit; and how to improve the Current Account.’