Gains of independence highlighted by think tank

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The SNP is today welcoming comments from a think-tank highlighting the gains independence will bring for the people of Scotland and the economy.

In a joint submission to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, the Jimmy Reid Foundation and Professor Mike Danson of Heriot-Watt University highlighted the opportunities for change that independence will bring.

The paper states that independence offers “much more by way of opportunity than threat” and points to three main reasons that stand out – the chance to move toward a fairer Scotland, full powers and the ability to pursue entirely different policies from Westminster and the chance to strengthen our economy.

Welcoming the comments, Deputy Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Dennis Robertson said:

“As the submission points out, there is ‘little evidence’ of change at UK level – Westminster has had its chance. With a Yes vote, we can make real progress toward rebalancing our economy.

“Scotland’s Future outlines plans to establish a Fair Work Commission to guarantee that workers in an independent Scotland will benefit from a minimum wage that rises at least in line with inflation. Over the last five years, this would have improved the earnings of the lowest paid Scots by the equivalent of £675.

“And on top of this, our plans to transform childcare will help more parents – especially women – back into the workplace and benefit 240,000 children. In contrast, Westminster cuts threaten to push 100,000 more children in Scotland into poverty by 2020.

“It is true the independence offers ‘much more by way of opportunity’ – only independence will give us the full powers we need to build a fairer Scotland, closing the gap between rich and poor and strengthening Scotland’s economy so that is can grow in a sustainable way.”