Sturgeon announces plans for publicly-owned energy company in Scotland

11 Oct 17

Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans for a public-owned energy company in Scotland, in her address to the SNP party conference.

The first minister for Scotland stated at the conference in Glasgow yesterday: “Let’s resolve to put Scotland in the driving seat.”

She told attendees: “By the end of this parliament [2021] - we will set up a publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company.”

Sturgeon added: “No shareholders to worry about. No corporate bonuses to consider.

“It would give people – particularly those on low incomes – more choice and the option of a supplier whose only job is to secure the lowest price for consumers.”

She also committed to doubling the amount spent on childcare by the Scottish Government from £420m to £840m.

“That is a commitment unmatched anywhere else in the UK. And it is the best investment we can make in Scotland’s future,” she said.

On housing the SNP leader affirmed that the Scottish government planned to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the course of the parliament backed by a £3bn investment.

She said: “We’ve already set out how much money councils will be allocated each year.

“And we will not allow any of it to be diverted to other priorities.”

But she warned: “Let me make this clear to every council today. If you don’t use all of your allocation to deliver new housing, we will take back the balance and give it to one that can.

She repeated her promise to end the 1% pay cap for public sector pay, which Scotland's finance secretary Derek Mackay admitted at the start of the week was linked to the money the country received from the UK Treasury

Sturgeon said it was "right" Holyrood's limited tax raising powers be considered as a means to protect vital services.

“Too often, the debate on tax is framed as the economy versus public services,” she said. “That’s wrong.”

The first minister also repeated her call for more devolution to Holyrood after Brexit and repeated her commitment to establish a Scottish National Investment bank. 

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