Nicola Sturgeon committed the SNP to a Green New Deal yesterday. I am, of course, pleased. But I also have a problem.
At the same time as the SNP has made this commitment it is arguing that it must deliver on the promise of its so-called Growth Commission, which has been discussed here before. And there is a problem. In no known Venn diagram can a commitment to the Growth Commission and the Green New Deal produce policy overlap.
The Green New Deal commits a government to use fiscal policy to create the funding required, in its own currency, to in turn create the activity required to deliver the economic, social and policy transformation necessary to deliver sustainability. I summarise, but that’s it.
And the Growth Commission would commit an independent Scotland to use sterling and curtail all government spending to appease financial markets by suppressing any economic activity that might require any form of deficit to be run. Again, I summarise, but that really is it.
Although I should add, in case there is doubt, that the Growth Commission also precludes any effective fiscal policy by the government of an independent Scotland. Such a government, if bound to sterling and the Growth Commission constraints, simply could not have a fiscal policy, apart from austerity (if that can be described as such).
So Scotland has a choice. It’s a future, or the poverty prescribed by the Growth Commission, which also fails to prepare Scotland for any form of sustainable society.
It’s not really a choice, is it?
And Nicola Sturgeon can’t back both. She too has to decide. A lot may hang on her decision.