Scottish Government
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Spending plans to support economic growth

Independence ‘austerity alternative’ set to support up to 30,000 jobs. 

Scottish Government plans to invest in public spending in an independent Scotland are equal to supporting up to 30,000 jobs, new economic analysis shows.

Based on current forecasts, the Scottish Government has set out our preference to provide £1.2 billion of additional resources in 2017-18 and a further £2.4 billion in 2018-19. This would support the economy whilst ensuring that Scotland’s deficit continued to fall as a share of GDP.

New analysis shows that the economic impact of such an increase in public spending could boost output by £1.5 billion (GVA) and support up to 30,000 jobs.

In contrast, current plans from Westminster will see a further £25 billion in spending cuts across the UK after the 2015 General Election – £2.5 billion of which could occur in Scotland.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“Independence will give us the ability to choose spending and tax policies that best match the needs of Scotland.

“Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – and we can use that wealth to help grow the economy further by investing in public services and Scotland’s infrastructure.

“With independence we could, within an overall commitment to fiscal responsibility, say no to cuts and provide a credible and sustainable alternative to the current UK Government’s austerity plan.

“By providing up to £2.4 billion in additional investment we could boost our economy to levels equivalent to supporting up to 30,000 jobs whilst still ensuring that public sector debt was falling as a share of our national income.

“We have a clear choice – stick with Westminster’s planned cuts, or invest in Scotland’s public services to support economic growth, create jobs and tackle inequality.

“Having the ability to manage our economy and public finances in the best interests of Scotland is one of the key benefits independence can bring.”

Notes To Editors


Based on current forecasts, the Scottish Government would seek to provide £1.2 billion of additional resources in 2017-18 and £2.4 billion more in additional resources in 2018-19 to invest in Scotland’s economy, as outlined in the Outlook for Scotland’s Public Finances report.

The economic impact of this spend would depend on the specific programmes it was allocated to. Based on analysis of the Scottish Input-Output tables, it is estimated that if a £2.4 billion increase in spending in 2018-19 was distributed across public services, capital investment and social transfers (i.e. state benefits) in proportion to their share of current Scottish public spending it could boost GVA by approximately £1.5 billion and support up to 30,000 jobs in the year the spending occurs.

Further info:

Outlook for Scotland’s Public Finances and the Opportunities of Independence -

Scottish Input-Output Tables and Multipliers -

Channel website:

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