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New models for economy

Growth Commission report to be published ‘imminently’

Andrew Wilson
Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson’s review of the SNP’s case for independence is to be published ‘imminently’ and is expected to create a new model for growing the country’s economy.

Mr Wilson, a former party high-flyer now a partner in a PR consultancy, was tasked in September 2016 with producing a fresh economic prospectus for an independent Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wanted a clean break from the discredited Scotland’s Future paper produced in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum.

Party activists are hoping Mr Wilson’s Growth Commission report will be published before the party conference on 8 June. A source said it would be issued ‘imminently’.

Its recommendations are expected to focus on productivity and public finances set against long term trends such as population growth. Crucially, it is believed to have shifted comparisons from the oil producer Norway and low tax Republic of Ireland to small nations such as New Zealand and Finland.

It was reported by the Sunday Herald last month that David Skilling, a former adviser to the New Zealand Government who has worked for management consultancy McKinsey, has been an important figure for the Commission.

The economic plan ahead of the referendum was built around oil revenues, but the collapse in the price just before the poll led to criticism from the SNP’s opponents and forced a party re-think.

The issue has moved on to raising productivity and plugging a £13 billion deficit.

Mr Wilson, a co-founder of Charlotte Street Partners, is believed to have taken a dispassionate approach to the economy’s prospects, taking greater account of the risks as well as the opportunities of independence.

His 400 page report is believed to be in three parts looking at growth, the public finances and the currency issue.

It is also thought to recommend policies that could be adopted immediately, and specifically in relation to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

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