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Time for a Scottish Tiger

3 May 2019

The Scottish Conservative conference will hear fresh plans to create a new “Scottish Tiger economy”, as the party sets out fresh plans to deliver for Scotland.

Writing in Conservative Home yesterday and as the party meets in Aberdeen, Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart reveals that within its first 100 days, a Scottish Conservative government would convene a major international conference in Scotland to kick-start a 10-year economic strategy to deliver real, sustainable growth in Scotland.

The Scottish Conservative plan will be based on a new ‘TIGER’ economic model – focusing on Technology, Innovation, Global Trade, Employment and Regional Growth across Scotland.

Further details have been published today in the first report of the party’s Scottish Future Growth Council  – bringing together more than 18 months’ worth of work examining how best to deliver real, sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

It forms part of the key message at the Scottish Conservative conference this week – that we want to move Scotland on from a decade of constitutional division, using the extensive powers of the Scottish Parliament to focus on what matters.

The choice at the Scottish election in 2021 will be between a SNP Government that will put more constitutional division first, and a Scottish Conservative government led by Ruth Davidson that wants to get on and deliver for Scotland – now.

Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary, Dean Lockhart says

“By opposing any more referendums on constitutional change, all that energy currently expended by the nationalist government intent on breaking up Britain can be redirected into prioritising Scotland’s economic potential. The Scottish Government already has all the powers available to deliver higher growth, it just needs to use them properly. We will commit to get on with creating a new Scottish TIGER economy from day one.

“The SNP likes to blame its lack of progress on the fact it lost the referendum and Scotland is still a part of the UK. The truth is that all the policy levers we need are already at the Scottish Government’s disposal. 

“The choice is clear.

“The SNP will always put constitutional division before economic growth, and it will spend years doing so. That’s not scaremongering on my part – their own Growth Commission Report argues that the chaos and pain of independence is required to give Scotland a chance to prosper in the future.

“The Scottish Conservatives see things differently. We believe Scotland can thrive now, can achieve the sort of impressive growth rates that were all too familiar before the nationalists took office. We believe Scotland, as part of the UK, is already a great nation ready to take on the world.

“Come the 2021 elections, the SNP will have been in power for 14 years. For the vast majority of this period they will have caused deep uncertainty by campaigning for Independence – raising questions about the future direction of Scotland’s economy and even what currency we will use in the future.

“We believe that Scotland’s economy post-2021 will enjoy a post-Nationalist bounce. With the right economic vision – and with the massive uncertainty of Independence put to one side –  business confidence and investment will return, enhancing the lives of all our citizens. But it will take a ‘whole of government’ approach to achieve this, something the nationalists have been unable to deliver. Our plans to create a TIGER economy will restore Scotland’s long-term economic growth levels.

“At this conference, and with two years to go until the next election, we want to show people we are thinking about how to turn that vision into a reality. We are taking the first steps to delivering a Scottish tiger economy which can roar again.”