A report published this week by independent think-tank, These Islands, has criticised the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland as “unrealistic” and “misleading”.
The report has received praise from notable economists such as the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, Sir Andrew Large, and Professor Ronald Macdonald.
The report suggests that the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission strengthens the economic case for Scotland remaining in the UK. It highlights how the how most of the reported benefits in the SNP’s version could be achieved through currently devolved powers.
The report also goes onto criticise the SNP’s publication. It highlights glaring oversights in the use of the Scottish Government’s own GERS figures and inexplicable reasoning regarding how the growth assumptions it makes. The report, co-authored by Kevin Hague, also notes that the SNP’s Growth Commission makes no reference to the loss of trade that will occur with the UK, who Scotland trade with 3.6 times more than with the EU.
The report from These Islands acknowledges that the Growth Commission Report is a political document, not academia.
It’s important to dispel misinformation in the way that Kevin Hague and These Islands have. Having criticised the Conservative’s austerity policies, the SNP’s plans would have meant £60 billion less spending from the Scottish Government over the last decade- far worse than any austerity measures we have seen so far.
For me, the most important message was this. There are areas where we can improve in Scotland and our parliament has the power to do so. It seems very clear that the biggest priority for all political parties in Scotland should be to focus on using our devolved powers to improve the country.
You can check out the report here: http://www.these-islands.co.uk/publications/i302/gc_context_and_respons…