FM: ‘poor’ UK decisions mean Scotland works harder

John Swinney

First Minister John Swinney set out his ambitions for Scotland’s economy during a speech in Glasgow on Friday — and took a swipe at “poor decision-making at UK level” typified by Brexit and UK immigration policy.

Speaking at the Barclays Campus in Glasgow’s financial district, Swinney outlined his government’s approach to economic policy making.

Swinney said poor decision-making at UK level, typified by Brexit and immigration policy, means the Scottish Government must “work even harder with its limited powers” to help businesses and workers thrive.

The First Minister said he is determined to bring hope and optimism and will “go all out” to encourage economic investment.

He will say policy making will be governed by:

  • Moderate left of centre, progressive values
  • A partnership approach with unions and business
  • A focus on actions
  • Problem solving based on evidence

The First Minister highlighted significant announcements in Scotland’s renewable energy sector and actions the Scottish Government is taking to boost high growth businesses.

Swinney said: “My goal is to help people live happier and healthier lives with higher living standards and to help businesses boost profitability.

“The evidence shows that independent countries that are comparable to Scotland are wealthier and fairer than the UK.

“Scotland has the talents and resources to match that performance with independence but in the here and now and in the face of Brexit we must work even harder to help Scotland’s economy with the powers we have.

“I will go all out to encourage investment in Scotland and I will ensure people know my government is a firmly pro-business administration.

“A partnership with trade unions and business will be at the core of my approach and through that approach and given our resources, not least incredible renewable energy, we should look to the future with hope and optimism.”