by Neil Gray, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work & Energy and Co-Chair of NSET Delivery Board
The National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) set out our ambitions for a wellbeing economy, one which delivers a fairer, greener economy where the economy serves the people of Scotland.
Significant progress has been made in the first year of the strategy, such as the establishment of our national Techscaler network and progressing the opportunities from our transition to a net zero economy. However, transforming the economy is a long-term endeavour and that is why action is required now to put in place foundations for success, flexing to reflect the ever changing economic conditions.
Over the last year, the Scottish economy has experienced not just the recovery from the pandemic and the impact of EU-Exit, but also the war in Ukraine, a cost crisis, and fiscal instability as a result of the UK Government’s Autumn budget last year.
While the Scottish Government has responded to these new challenges, its levers are inevitably limited and wage rises and cost inflation have eroded household incomes, created a hugely uncertain environment for business and also diminished the spending power of Government as well.
It has also exposed fundamental weaknesses in the current economic system and has underlined the need to seize opportunities to positively transform our economy and improve its resilience. This will enhance living standards, reduce poverty, broaden our tax base and deliver sustainable high quality public services.
Harnessing and combining the economic power and opportunity of Scotland’s rich renewable energy resources, the skills and talents of our people and business will be critical to achieving this.
The recently published policy prospectus “A New Leadership – A Fresh Start” reaffirmed our commitment to delivering the economic strategy with a sharp focus on the policies and actions with the greatest potential to grow and change Scotland’s economy, expand the tax base to fund excellent public services and make people’s lives better. At the same time, it reaffirmed our commitment to tackling poverty and protecting people from harm, and the actions set out in NSET have key contribution not just to our opportunity mission, but also to our equality mission.
This report therefore not only summarises the progress made in the first year of the strategy’s implementation, but provides a fresh focus on the new actions we will progress to deliver a growing economy that increases wellbeing.
Neil Gray MSP Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work & Energy and Co-Chair of NSET Delivery Board
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