Wed 13 Jun, 2018

We already know that similarly-sized small countries are successfully implementing progressive economic, social and environmental policies that Scotland could match. Patrick Harvie MSP

Independence will provide Scotland with the opportunity to match the “progressive economic, social and environmental policies” of successful similarly-sized countries, contrasting with the decline of post-Brexit Britain, say the Scottish Greens.

However, Patrick Harvie also used the finance and constitution debate at Holyrood to warn that “growth economics”, which he says dominates the economic analysis in the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission report, is not sustainable in a “finite world” with a “fragile ecosystem already under extreme pressure”.

Harvie then highlighted the contradiction in the First Minister commissioning a report aimed at “boosting economic growth” and then launching the National Performance Framework on Monday by quoting Robert Kennedy’s famous critique of GDP being able to measure everything “except what makes life worth living”.

Mr Harvie, the Scottish Greens co-convener, said:

“Our reaction to the Growth Commission report begins with the longstanding Green critique of Growth economics itself. Everlasting growth in a finite world and a fragile ecosystem already under extreme pressure is neither achievable nor desirable. Even while it lasts, growth alone tells us nothing about how fairly wealth is being shared or how unfairly the social and environmental burdens fall.

“Economic growth is placed at the heart of the SNP’s independence report, but earlier this week the First Minister spoke at the launch of the National Performance Framework by casting doubt on the reliability of using GDP to assess the success of a country. There, she quoted Bobby Kennedy’s famous words that GDP ‘measures everything except what makes life worth living’. I hope this contradiction is an indication that the SNP already accepts the limitations of its version of independence.

“Nevertheless, the Scottish Greens could not be clearer about our commitment to campaigning for an independent Scotland. Our own Jobs in the New Economy report argues that, by focussing on delivering low-carbon improvements across the energy, land-use and industrial sectors, we can create over 200,000 new green jobs. We already know that similarly-sized small countries are successfully implementing progressive economic, social and environmental policies that Scotland could match, but only as a fully independent member of the international community and the EU.”

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