Sustainable growth the target
Scots Tories outline plans to create ‘tiger economy’
Plan: Dean Lockhart
A Scottish Conservative government will make the creation of a ‘tiger economy’ a priority, according to a new report.
The plan, outlined in the first report of the party’s Scottish Future Growth Council, would see the Tories convene a major international conference in Scotland within 100 days of taking power aimed at kick-starting a 10-year economic strategy to deliver real, sustainable growth.
The strategy will be based on a new ‘tiger’ economic model – focusing on technology, innovation, global trade, employment and regional growth across Scotland.
Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart spoke of the long-term vision as the party meets in Aberdeen.
“By opposing any more referendums on constitutional change, all that energy currently expended by the nationalist government intent on breaking up Britain can be redirected into prioritising Scotland’s economic potential,” he said.
“The Scottish Government already has all the powers available to deliver higher growth, it just needs to use them properly. We will commit to get on with creating a new Scottish tiger economy from day one.
“The SNP likes to blame its lack of progress on the fact it lost the referendum and Scotland is still a part of the UK. The truth is that all the policy levers we need are already at the Scottish Government’s disposal.”
Further details have been published today in the council’s first report – bringing together more than 18 months’ worth of work examining how best to deliver real, sustainable economic growth in Scotland.
It forms part of the key message at the Scottish Conservative conference this week – that the party wants to move Scotland on from a decade of constitutional division, using the extensive powers of the Scottish Parliament to focus on what matters.
Mr Lockhart added: “The choice is clear. The SNP will always put constitutional division before economic growth, and it will spend years doing so.
“That’s not scaremongering on my part – their own Growth Commission Report argues that the chaos and pain of independence is required to give Scotland a chance to prosper in the future.
“The Scottish Conservatives see things differently. We believe Scotland can thrive now, can achieve the sort of impressive growth rates that were all too familiar before the nationalists took office. We believe Scotland, as part of the UK, is already a great nation ready to take on the world.
“Come the 2021 elections, the SNP will have been in power for 14 years. For the vast majority of this period they will have caused deep uncertainty by campaigning for Independence – raising questions about the future direction of Scotland’s economy and even what currency we will use in the future.
“We believe that Scotland’s economy post-2021 will enjoy a post-Nationalist bounce. With the right economic vision – and with the massive uncertainty of Independence put to one side – business confidence and investment will return, enhancing the lives of all our citizens. But it will take a ‘whole of government’ approach to achieve this, something the nationalists have been unable to deliver. Our plans to create a TIGER economy will restore Scotland’s long-term economic growth levels.
“At this conference, and with two years to go until the next election, we want to show people we are thinking about how to turn that vision into a reality. We are taking the first steps to delivering a Scottish tiger economy which can roar again.”