The Sustainable Growth Commission has published its comprehensive report for Scotland’s future economic success.
What this report shows is that Scotland is a wealthy nation with huge resources, encompassing our traditional strengths in innovation, our hi-tech sectors, our energy reserves, our food, drink and tourism strengths – and perhaps above all our strength in human capital, with a highly educated population.
Despite those enormous strengths, it is a fact that similar sized nations have performed better over decades – all of them independent but most of them with fewer resources than us.
The task ahead for Scotland is to match those other nations, creating more jobs and raising living standards, providing a better future for everyone who lives here.
The Growth Commission is right that in order to raise our performance we must target increases in our population, ensure that all in our society are able to participate fully in the economy and drive forward improvements in our productivity that will boost our growth rates.
The Scottish Government is working hard to achieve that with the powers of devolution, but as well as offering new ideas for what we can do now, this report sets out how much more could be achieved with independence.
It’s packed full of new ideas for Scotland’s future. It shows that small, independent nations can be successful, and often more successful than larger nations.
Our small European neighbours are amongst the fairest, wealthiest, healthiest and happiest countries in the world.
Fact is Scotland is well placed to join them. We’re already one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
The question now is how do we seize the opportunities and confront the challenges of the future? How can we deliver greater prosperity and higher living standards?
We don’t need to look far to find exciting new ideas.
We can look to how Norway has benefitted from its natural resources.
How Finland became an innovation leader, through public sector support for research and development.
How Denmark has tackled inequality, through a strong social security safety net.
Or how Ireland has boosted its population through attracting talent and investment.
What is clear, is that the path Scotland takes is one that should be decided by the people of Scotland.
This summer the SNP will hold a series of National Assemblies that discuss and debate the recommendations of the report, helping form the parties formal view.
We want to hear our members hopes and ambitions for an independent Scotland.
And we are mindful that the Yes movement is powered by folk from all walks of life – so we’ll also hear from people beyond the party, by inviting people along from across civic Scotland and from the wider Yes family.
This is an exciting opportunity for us to shape a better future for Scotland – let’s grab it with both hands.