Sturgeon seeks opinion on Scottish National Investment Bank

20 Oct 17

Nicola Sturgeon has asked the Scottish public for ideas about how the new Scottish National Investment Bank could help grow the country’s economy and spread the benefits across society.

The first minister launched a formal consultation exercise for the bank, the creation of which was a central feature of last month’s Programme for Government, at an international conference on inclusive economic growth held in Glasgow.  The consultation runs to 12 November.

Sturgeon also used the speech to position social spending on matters like extending free childcare as an integral element in the drive to stimulate economic growth. 

She told delegates she was setting up an expert Just Transition Committee to ensure that Scotland’s shift to a low-carbon economy was achieved as equitably as possible.

The National Investment Bank is being developed under the leadership of Tesco Bank chief executive Benny Higgins, after the idea was recommended by Sturgeon’s Council of Economic Advisers as a key tool in delivering strategic infrastructure, financing high growth businesses and nurturing innovation.

Higgins chairs an advisory group that brings together leading figures from the public sector, like Scottish government chief economic Gary Gillespie, with private sector leaders like Paul Brewer of PwC and academics like Mariana Mazzucato of University College London.

Sturgeon said her government believed that it was vital for long-term sustainable growth that everyone in Scotland had a stake in economic success.

 “We recognise that inclusive growth is another essential part of our focus on innovation and productivity,” she said. “So we have also announced a range of measures to ensure that as we transform our economy, we leave no one in our society behind.

“We will establish a Just Transition Commission – a panel of experts from across society that will advise us on how to make the move to a low-carbon economy as equitable as possible.”

She added: “We will look at ways in which we can support the growth of employee ownership, and continue to pursue our fair work agenda.”

  • Keith Aitken
    Keith Aitken

    covers Scottish affairs for Public Finance from Edinburgh. He was formerly economics editor and chief leader writer on The Scotsman and now has a busy freelance career as a writer, broadcaster and event chair.

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