Scottish National Investment Bank plan backed as alternative to “failed” private sector
A NATIONAL INVESTMENT BANK that puts public interests before private profit has won the support of the Scottish National Party.
Delegates at the party’s spring conference have unanimous backing to the policy, and the action of “examining the feasibility and the creation of a Scottish National Investment Bank”.
The policy has long been a campaign issue for economic reformers who want an alternative model to the giant corporate centralisation of financial power in big banks.
The motion said that Scotland’s economy and future development left “solely in the hand of our private banking and financial sector will be detrimental”.
“It would boost productivity, expand the business base, speed up the transition to a low carbon economy and support the creation of thousands of new jobs.” Laurie MacFarlane
The result was welcomed by campaigners and economists who want the Scottish Government to push on with greater intervention and economic reforms through its financial agencies.
Ben Wray, Head of Policy for Common Weal said: “The SNP membership has spoken – now the leadership should listen. A Scottish National Investment Bank is exactly what the Scottish economy needs in the post-Brexit landscape: tackle chronic under-investment, provide the patient capital small and medium sized Scottish businesses are not getting and create high-paying jobs.
“In countries like Germany a state investment bank is the norm – there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the case here, and the Scottish Government could set it up now. It’s an idea whose time has come.”
Laurie MacFarlane, economist from the New Economics Foundation, added: “The passing of today’s motion reflects the strength of the economic case for establishing a new Scottish National Investment Bank. Meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century requires bold and ambitious plans for financing and directing investment in a smart, inclusive and sustainable direction. But with public budgets in decline, economic uncertainty increasing and a banking sector still focused on short-term shareholder returns, the need for fresh thinking around investment is greater than ever.
“A new Scottish National Investment Bank would channel investment to the areas of the economy most in need. In doing so, it would boost productivity, expand the business base, speed up the transition to a low carbon economy and support the creation of thousands of new jobs. It would also generate billions of pounds of savings for the public purse by providing a low cost alternative to expensive private finance schemes. It’s now up to the Scottish Government to act to turn it into a reality.”
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