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14 member team

Growth Commission panel named to ‘inform SNP thinking’

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson – chairman

Nicola Sturgeon’s new Growth Commission includes a brewer, two property developers and a former government minister.

The First Minister announced the formation of the commission as part of her programme for government in response to the implications of Britain leaving the European Union.

Setting out its remit today she added that it will also look at “how to generate further growth with the powers of independence”.

Unveiling the names of those on the 14-member panel, she said the members are not necessarily SNP supporters. The Commission is intended to inform SNP policy and will seek a wide range of views from across the political spectrum and from business, trade unions and civic society. It will report directly to the First Minister.

Economic and Secretariat support will be provided by Graeme Blackett of Biggar Economics.

The First Minister said: “Scotland is a wealthy country with resources and talents that many other countries can only dream about. The challenge, however, lies in closing the gap between our potential and the reality.

“We want to strengthen our foundations and seek to identify the very best opportunities for Scotland’s economy to flourish.

“I’m delighted to announce the membership of our party’s Growth Commission – with leading economists, some of Scotland’s most successful businesspeople and current and former politicians offering their experience and insight on how best we grow our economy.  

“With a background in politics and a keen understanding of our economy Andrew Wilson is well placed to chair this Commission and to bring new ideas to the debate on how we reach our full potential.

“The Commission’s work will inform our thinking in the here and now – how we sustain growth during the period of uncertainty caused by Brexit – but will also examine projections for Scotland’s finances and proposals for growth in the context of independence.

“That work will include considering policies to grow the economy and reduce Scotland’s deficit and looking at the monetary arrangements which would best underpin a strategy for sustainable growth.

Chairman of the Commission, former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, also a partner at the public affairs consultancy Charlotte Street Partners, said: “It is a privilege for me to chair this outstanding group of people on such a challenging and important topic.

“We will give it our all and engage the best talent and minds we can to support and test our work.  It is my sincere hope that should Scotland be asked to choose again on independence, this project ensures that we all have as sound, transparent and firm a prospectus as any country facing such a choice has ever had.

“Just as important, I hope the work can help the SNP deliver the policies and leadership that are needed now to secure the productivity, growth and competitiveness that we need, delivering sustainable funding for quality public services.

“We need to think ambitiously, inclusively and differently.  It is time for substance and respect in our debate – people in this country have not had enough of experts, that much is certain.”

Membership of the SNP’s Growth Commission:

Andrew Wilson (Chairman), former SNP MSP and Economy and Finance spokesperson, Founding Partner, Charlotte St Partners

Cllr Marie Burns, Shadow Economy and Communities Spokesperson, North Ayrshire Council and former Director of Skills Interventions at Skills Development Scotland

Prof Iain Docherty, Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Glasgow

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

Prof Andrew Hughes Hallet, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, George Mason University and University of St Andrews

Dan McDonald, Businessman and Founder of N56 group

Derek MacKay MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Marie Macklin CBE, Chief Executive of the Klin Group and Macklin Enterprise Partnership

Jim Mather, Former Enterprise Minister and Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and Heriot Watt University

Roger Mullin MP, SNP Westminster Finance Spokesperson

Prof Catherine Schenk, Professor of International Economic History, University of Glasgow

Mark Shaw, Chief Executive, Hazledene

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

Petra Wetzel, Founder and Managing Director WEST Brewery

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