Scottish national investment bank plans unveiled

PLANS have been unveiled to create a national investment bank for Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move at a conference on inclusive growth in Glasgow.

The event brought together speakers from international organisations, foreign governments, local authorities and academia to discuss growing Scotland’s economy and tackling inequality.

The establishment of a Scottish national investment bank was a key plank of Ms Sturgeon‘s programme for government revealed in September, with Benny Higgins, chief executive of Tesco Bank, appointed to head up a plan for its implementation

Views will now be sought from the public on the detail of how the bank can support the Scottish economy.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The council of economic advisers identified a national investment bank as an important means of delivering infrastructure development, finance for high-growth businesses and strategic investments in innovation.

“Our programme for government committed to the establishment of such a bank and I am delighted that Benny Higgins is leading the implementation work.

“Today, we are launching a consultation on the details of how best the bank can achieve those aims and support Scotland’s economy. However, we recognise that inclusive growth is another essential part of our focus on innovation and productivity.

“So, we’ve 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.

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

Ms Sturgeon insisted her government would press ahead with plans to explore the possibility of a citizen’s income for Scotland, another proposal set out in the programme for government.

She acknowledged such a move might not be feasible.

She said: “Despite the fact that this has some critics, we are also going to work with interested local authorities to fund research into the feasibility of a citizen’s basic income scheme.

“I should stress our work on this is at a very early stage. It might turn out not to be the answer, it might turn out not to be feasible.

“But as work and employment changes as rapidly as it is doing, I think it’s really important that we look and are prepared to be open-minded about the different ways in which we can support individuals to participate fully in the new economy.





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