In today's Scottish Parliament debate on the economy, Green MSP for Lothian Alison Johnstone called on government to swap austerity for equality and do more to champion small businesses.

Ms Johnstone, a member of Holyrood's economy committee, pointed to recent evidence that the majority of jobs are created by small firms, and these firms' have provided a stable business base compared to big chains and corporations.

Alison said:

"It is clear that economic renewal in Scotland should be focused on small businesses. We need champions in Government for them - this is something that could be done now with the existing powers of Holyrood.

"It is also clear that if we're serious about reducing inequality we must not return to business as usual. Continuing to gamble with a casino economic model will not address the big challenges our society faces.

"And those opposed to independence who claim Scotland is on pause are clearly out of touch. From Oxfam's Our Economy to the Jimmy Reid Foundation's Common Weal there are big ideas for economic renewal gathering momentum."

Enterprise Research Centre submission to Economy Committee:

"The increase in the importance of small firms as a provider of jobs emphasises the importance of the SMEs in the future growth of the UK economy."

Oxfam - Our Economy