Scottish Parliament Committee launches inquiry into the economics of Scotland’s constitutional future

11.12.2013

An inquiry into Scotland’s economic future following the independence referendum in 2014 has been launched today (Wednesday 11 December) by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

The inquiry, which is expected to last around four months, will focus on economic issues at the core of the referendum debate including monetary and fiscal policy, trade and investment issues and welfare and equality. 

With evidence sessions anticipated to start in February 2014, the Committee is inviting senior UK and Scottish Government Ministers and representatives of both campaign groups to outline their vision for Scotland’s economy before taking evidence from a number of other witnesses from the worlds of business and the public sector. It will also seek the views of experts from academia. 

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“The impact on the Scottish economy in the event of a yes or no vote has dominated the headlines. And rightly so. The issues that are raised in the White Paper are the foundation of our economy – from our currency to taxation to social security.

“This is why our Committee is central to scrutinising these issues. Issues that will have a long lasting impact on the prosperity of Scotland.

“Our inquiry is all about giving the business community, experts from academia, and representatives of civic Scotland, as well as both campaigns, a platform to debate their vision for the future of the Scottish economy.”

Deputy Convener of the Committee Dennis Robertson MSP said:

“The referendum next year is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions that people in Scotland will take about the future of our nation.

“We want to hear from businesses up and down the country – from our microbusinesses to global corporations. This is about hearing a range of views and opinions and our Committee looks forward to our inquiry’s evidence being at the centre of this debate.”

The Committee is today issuing a call for views for written evidence from businesses, individuals, representative organisations and other stakeholders on a number of areas including on the following issues:
 
Monetary policy
How might monetary policy best develop in your vision for Scotland’s economic future?  Specifically, you may wish to make reference to:

  • Currency
  • Financial stability

Fiscal policy
How might fiscal policy best develop in your vision for Scotland’s economic future?  Specifically, you may wish to make reference to:

  • Taxation
  • Spending
  • Borrowing and debt

Economic focus
What economic focus is important to achieve your vision for Scotland?  Specifically, you may wish to make reference to:

  • Support for the main targeted sectors and activities
  • Trade, investment and exports (including cross-border effects)
  • Competition policy and regulation
  • Management of natural assets (including oil and gas)
  • Labour market issues
  • Infrastructure planning and economic development
  • Sustainability and the transition to a low carbon economy

Welfare and equality
How might wealth and income be (re)distributed in your vision for Scotland’s economic future?  Specifically, you may wish to make reference to:

  • Social security, welfare payments etc.
  • Wages and incomes
  • Employment policies
  • Poverty and income distribution

Scotland at home and abroad
How might Scotland be best represented domestically and internationally in your vision for Scotland’s economic future?  Specifically, you may wish to make reference to:

  • Development of current or new domestic institutions
  • Economic benefits of membership of international institutions
  • Foreign economic policy
  • Lessons from other countries

The deadline for written submissions is 31 January and can be submitted to the following email address: economicfuture@scottish.parliament.uk

Background

The Scottish Government published its White Paper entitled Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland which sets out it’s proposition for the electorate and the vote on Scottish Independence scheduled for September next year.

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