The Times has (gleefully) reported this morning that:
An independent Scotland would have to move quickly to cut its deficit and face a choice between the UK or EU markets if there is a hard Brexit, an adviser to the SNP’s growth commission has said.
David Skilling said there was more the Scottish government could do now with existing powers to grow its economy, and in a new report cited data suggesting that the country was lagging behind similar-sized nations in exports, schools standards and economic growth.
A former adviser at the New Zealand treasury, Mr Skilling gave advice to the group that drew up the SNP’s latest blueprint for independence, published last month. The document, which called for tight restrictions on public spending after leaving the UK, has split the pro-independence movement with many on the left saying it would result in a continuation of austerity policies pursued by the UK government.
Mr Skilling’s radoning was that in theses situations:
It was clear that Scotland would have to set out credible plans to cut its deficit, estimated at 8.3 per cent of GDP, to reassure markets.
And I agree: that might be necessary if Scotland did, as the archly neoliberal thinks appropriate, fix its currency against sterling. Of course in that case Scotland would have no choice but spend all its earnings trying to maintain parity with the pound, crushing economic growth in the process.
But if Scotland had its own currency and let it float, as it would have to, Scotland could concentrate on delivering full employment instead.
I am nit saying the folly of the rUK would have no impact in that case; clearly it would. But Scotland would be able to mitigate it rather than be dragged down by it, as neoliberals desire.
It really is time for the neoliberal world view to be rejected by Scotland. Indeed, that is much of what independence would be about.