Swinney: Yes could transform economy, boost jobs

SCOTTISH independence could transform the country’s economy and move the country towards full employment, according to the finance secretary.
Finance Secretary John Swinney. Picture: Lisa FergusonFinance Secretary John Swinney. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Finance Secretary John Swinney. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

John Swinney said Scotland’s potential has been “stifled” by the economic policies of UK governments.

A Yes vote would allow policy to be designed around the country’s strengths and create more job opportunities, he added.

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Mr Swinney is to unveil a ten-point plan detailing his vision for the economy and employment in an independent Scotland later this week.

He said: “The one-size-fits-all economic policies of successive Westminster governments have failed and are continuing to fail the people of Scotland. We perform well at the moment but we should be doing so much better.

“Independence can transform Scotland’s economy because it will provide us with the opportunity to build a more secure economy that will provide the best possible conditions for stable and rewarding employment for everyone who lives here. Independence will give us the chance to build an economy that takes advantage of Scotland’s unique strengths and size to deliver a more outward focused, fairer and resilient economy, boosting revenues and creating many more thousands of jobs.”

The Scottish Government has previously estimated that increases in productivity, employment and population could lead to additional tax revenues of £5 billion a year by 2029-30.

Mr Swinney added: “Increasing the level of participation in our economy by securing new and long-term job opportunities and boosting productivity by improving the business environment will help ensure that the benefits of economic growth are felt by all parts of our country.

“That will make Scotland a fairer country, in contrast to the economic policies of Westminster which have resulted in the UK becoming one of the most unequal societies in the developed world – a trend that is only likely to get worse under Westminster rule.”

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown repeated calls for Mr Swinney to set out the government’s Plan B for the currency of an independent Scotland.

He said: “The public will also be keen to see information on what our finances will look like if the wildly optimistic oil forecasts don’t materialise, and that deals with the questions they’d like answers to on pensions and social security.”

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Responding to Mr Swinney’s comments, he added: “One sentence states Westminster economic policy is failing the people of Scotland, and the very next one says we’re performing well. The credibility of this Scottish Government is withering by the day.”

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