When Nicola Sturgeon launched her latest blueprint for
Scottish independence she billed it as a ‘Growth
Commission’, but in reality it is a cuts commission.
It offers a vision of Scotland that people do not want
and cannot afford.
A vision of another decade ruined by needless austerity,
with people living, surviving, struggling under the
dogma of another deficit reduction plan.
The cuts commission claims to offer a “clear-sighted
analysis of the prospectus for independence”. But it is
a prospectus based on a hard decade of public spending
contraction, and even deeper cuts than those implemented
by George Osborne.
Proposing a separate Scotland seeking to use the pound
informally is a recipe for instability and is the
economics of dereliction.
This prospectus for independence is not built on
sovereignty regained but on sovereignty lost: on
interest rates, mortgage rates, inflation, and
corporation tax policy.
And it is based on an economic model which relies
heavily on foreign direct investment, large
multinational corporations and labour market
That is not the sort of future the people of Scotland
We need now to stop dividing people on the basis of
nationality and start uniting them on the basis of
class, and only Labour is able to do that.
What you need to know
These plans mean another decade of austerity, leaving
Scotland with a bigger budget deficit than any country
in the OECD.
This report makes the case for ''flexicurity'' as a key
tool to increase growth. But it would leave workers to
the mercy of insecure employment, making it easier for
bosses to hire and fire.
Yet the state would remain limited - merely supplying
training opportunities rather than
taking a hands on approach to planning and managing our
The blueprint proposes that Scotland informally retain
Sterling immediately after independence, through a form
Until there is a new Scottish currency Scotland would
have no control of monetary policy and would be tied to
the interest rates set by a Bank of England no longer
responsible for Scotland.
Labour offers real change
There is a new choice in
Scotland and it couldn't be clearer.
The dividing line is now between Labour’s plan to invest
and build an economy that works for the many, not the
few, or further austerity with the SNP and the Tories.
With a more progressive tax system, and making big
businesses pay their fair share we will invest in
collective provision for all.
Our plans provide a transformative £70 billion to invest
in Scotland over ten years prioritising health,
education, housing, and jobs.
We have a radical industrial strategy which puts full
employment at its heart and uses government contracts to
create good jobs.
Trade unions will have a central role to play in our new
economy, not just defending their members, but using
their members’ knowledge, skills and capacities to plan
for the future.
What the experts say
It’s not just Labour that say the SNP’s plans for the
Scottish economy would lead to even more austerity.
Experts from across academia, think tanks and the trade
union movement have exposed the Nationalists’ plans to
copy and paste George Osborne’s policies.
The experts at the Institute for Fiscal Studies say that
“...austerity would be extended under the Commission’s
proposals” noting that “...keeping to an overall
spending increase of just 0.5% a year would likely
require cuts to many other public services.”
The highly respected Fraser of Allander Institute
explains the uncertainty that would come with the SNP’s
currency plans as: “Millions of contracts would have to
be looked at, from car loans to mortgages; commercial
transactions to Scotland’s inherited share of public
The Scottish TUC says there are “a number of issues in
the report that send a worrying signal to workers” which
they suggest is a direct result of ignoring trades
unions from the commission’s work.