CommonSpace publishes the amendments to the motion at SNP conference on the Growth Commission report
SNP CONFERENCE on 27 April in Edinburgh is set to be crucial in settling the party’s key policies for a future independence referendum.
The controversial Growth Commission report published last year and chaired by Andrew Wilson, corporate lobbyist and former MSP, is set to be voted on by the party in a slightly revised form via a motion put forward to the conference by Finance Minister Derek Mackay and deputy leader Keith Brown.
The motion does not mention the GC’s deficit reduction plans and out rightly favours a Scottish currency at some point after independence, but it has been criticised by many for maintaining the GC report’s six tests for establishing a Scottish currency, and adding in an annual review of whether Scotland is ready for a currency to be conducted by the embryonic Scottish Central Bank.
CommonSpace reported last week that the Campaign for a Scottish Currency, made up of SNP members, had got six branches to put forward its amendment to the motion which would see the six tests scrapped and a specific timetable on the introduction of a Scottish currency in the first term of parliament of an independent Scotland.
CommonSpace has now seen the four amendments which will be debated at the party conference, one of which relates to the GC report’s proposals on annual solidarity payments to the rest of UK, the other three advocate a Scottish currency and propose different changes to the Mackay/Brown motion. We publish the amendments below, as well as the currency section of the Mackay/Brown motion for reference.
Delete paragraph (18) and replace with:
“However, Conference also agrees that an independent Scotland may make a fair and reasonable contribution to the UK. The amount of such a contribution will depend on a fair negotiation of both debt and assets and Conference agrees with the Commission that this would form part of an annual solidarity payment for a limited term of years. Conference endorses in principle the Commission’s recommended approach to negotiations.”
a) Delete 22) and 23)
b) Delete 30) and replace with:
“Conference believes that achieving successful higher growth and securing a sustainable fiscal balance in an independent Scotland can only be achieved through the establishment of a separate Scottish currency.
Conference believes it should be the policy of an SNP government in an independent Scotland to establish a separate Scottish currency within the lifetime of the first, post-independence parliament.
The pound sterling will remain in use until the currency transition.”
TRADE UNION GROUP CLYDESDALE CONSTITUENCY ASSOCIATION
WEST FIFE AND COASTAL VILLAGES BRANCH LAURA BRENNAN-WHITEFIELD, ELECTED MEMBER OF NATIONAL COUNCIL CRAIGENTINNY/DUDDINGSTON BRANCH THEO FORBES, ELECTED MEMBER OF NATIONAL COUNCIL HELENSBURGH BRANCH
RONNIE COWAN MP
Delete 30) and replace with:
“However, Conference believes that it should be the policy of an SNP government in an independent Scotland immediately to establish an independent currency pegged to the pound sterling; and agrees that the process and precise timescale for unpegging should be subject to robust governance.”
Delete 31) and replace with:
“During the period of transition to independence, work should begin on the establishment of an independent Scottish Central Bank with a Scottish Financial Authority, a new currency pegged to sterling, and the steps required to support in due course unpegging of the new currency.”
Delete 32) and replace with:
“Until the new currency can be safely and securely unpegged in the interests of the whole economy, the currency of an independent Scotland should continue to be pegged to the pound sterling, ensuring continuity and stability for the Scottish people.”
Delete 33) and replace with:
“Conference considers that the independent central bank should report annually to parliament on progress toward unpegging; and that an SNP government should aim to complete the preparations to enable the Scottish Parliament to take a decision on unpegging the new currency by the end of the first term of an independent Parliament.”
MOTHERWELL AND WISHAW CONSTITUENCY BRANCH GREENOCK AND INVERCLYDE CONSTITUENCY BRANCH
Delete 33) and replace with:
“Conference considers that an SNP Government should take the steps necessary to enable the Scottish Parliament to authorise the preparation of a Scottish Currency as soon as practicable after a vote for Independence with the aim that the currency be ready for introduction as soon as practicable after Independence Day.”
CURRENCY SECTION OF GROWTH COMMISSION MOTION
Towards an independent Scottish currency
28) Conference notes that despite significant economic assets, natural advantages and a talented population, independent countries with the ability to tailor economic policy to their own needs have performed better than Scotland.
29) Conference notes that among small, successful independent countries there is no single approach to currency. Conference also notes that the pound sterling is a shared currency across the UK and is available for Scotland to use, just as Ireland did for an extended period.
30) However, Conference believes that it should be the policy of an SNP government in an independent Scotland to establish an independent currency; and agrees that the process and precise timescale for doing so should be subject to robust governance and guided by the six tests recommended by the Sustainable Growth Commission.
31) During the period of transition to independence, work should begin on the establishment of an independent Scottish Central Bank with a Scottish Financial Authority, and the other steps required to support the establishment of a new currency.
32) Until a new currency can be safely and securely established in the interests of the whole economy, the currency of an independent Scotland should continue to be the pound sterling, ensuring continuity and stability for the Scottish people.
33) Conference considers that the independent central bank should report annually to parliament on progress toward meeting the necessary criteria; and that an SNP government should aim to complete the preparations to enable the Scottish Parliament to take a decision on establishing a new currency by the end of the first term of an independent Parliament.