By Lynn Malone
A lack of decision making power is holding back Scotland’s potential for growth, according to a paper to be published later today [Tuesday].
The Scottish government paper on independence will look at the key strengths of the economy in the creative industries alongside food, drink and tourism.  And it will explore Scotland’s strengths in life sciences and renewable energy.

Speaking ahead of publication, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The key question this document will ask is - who would do a better job of running Scotland's economy: the people who live here or Westminster?

Ms Sturgeon said that everyone in Scotland should have the confidence in the economy to know it can be a successful independent country.

She said: “Scotland is a strong economy. Scotland’s balance sheet shows that in every one of the last 30 years we have generated more tax per head than has been generated across the UK as a whole.”

Ms Sturgeon said the offshore oil and gas industry was strong and that the food and drink sector was also booming - with a turnover of £12bn last year.

She added: “Over the last five years the strength of Scotland’s economy has ensured that as an independent nation we would be better off to the tune of £12.6 billion.”

Blockbuster Hollywood producer, Iain Smith OBE, whose films include Cold Mountain and Entrapment, was among those to back up the Deputy First Minister’s claim that Scotland should be confident “on a global stage”.

Mr Smith said Scotland’s creative industries have a bright future, contribute hugely to the economy and said there is room for growth, particularly in the export sector.

Joe Goldblatt, an expert and professor in events management, also backed the call for Scotland to have more autonomy in decision making, saying: "I am confident that as an independent nation, Scotland, will soon become one of the most successful tourism destinations in the world."

Yesterday new figures showed a strong rise in the number of people taking up permanent and temporary jobs and could herald a “more robust” Scottish recovery.

The report published by the Bank of Scotland points towards the strongest increase in permanent appointments for a year. And shows temporary jobs grew at a faster rate, reaching a three-month high.

Speaking to BBC News Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "These results provide further evidence for the Scottish economy beginning to demonstrate a more robust recovery."

The Finance Secretary, John Swinney, told the BBC that the figures showed a record quarterly increase in employment in Scotland.

He said: "Scotland continues to show a higher employment rate and lower unemployment than the UK” And added that youth unemployment figures “out-perform the UK.”

And cautious optimism is growing among retailers after an increase in shopper figures in April showed that footfall in Scotland is in line with the UK average.

Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) footfall figures confirmed numbers increased by 1% compared to a year ago.

SRC director, Fiona Moriarty, said it was "reassuring" to see the increase in shopper numbers after the 3.8% fall recorded in March.

Speaking to BBC News Ms Moriarty said: "Scotland didn't see as much sunshine as some areas further south towards the end of April, so it's all the more positive to see that footfall is in line with the UK average in spite of the delayed onset of milder weather,".


# .Scot 2013-05-21 07:03
Great piece again! Perhaps not the best example but BetterTogether are tearing themselves apart over being in the EU & they would never relinquish their Sovereignty.

Without independence, Scots can never regain that sovereignty that BetterTogether value so highly. There must be a far more tangible value to sovereignty than simply national Pride.

It is indeed necessary to regain the rights of an Independent nation, if only to discover the dignity & self-worth of ascendancy to prerogative state.
# GogsyBroon 2013-05-21 07:40
The SNP have to say that independence is necessary - it's been their raison d'etre for years. Without it, they are a small parochial socialist party playing in the political sandpit at Holyrood, but lacking in popular support to the point of being represented at Westminster.
# maisiedotts 2013-05-21 08:35
Quoting GogsyBroon:
The SNP have to say that independence is necessary - it's been their raison d'etre for years. Without it, they are a small parochial socialist party playing in the political sandpit at Holyrood, but lacking in popular support to the point of being represented at Westminster.

They present a credible case based on facts (did you read Healey's comments?) in each of their papers. The case is made, is the "political sandpit" the one you keep your head buried in?
# ynot 2013-05-21 09:20
GogsyBroon: I wouldn't expect you to support Independence given your previous postings, but that view is one you are entitled to have. But please don't fall into the trap of adopting Better Together tactics by contributing nothing in terms of facts to this debate.
The facts supporting Scotland's future in terms of the economy and also Scotland's vision of a future where child poverty,social inequality, elderly dying of hypothermia, crumbling infrastructure more akin to a third world country are all there if you choose to look for them. You should also try to read the facts on how the UK compares to other OECD countries on a whole range of social and economic parameters. I suggest you might begin to be a bit concerned at what type of country you are actually living in just now, and you might also notice that other small countries with a resource base less generous than Scotland are performing much better than the UK. The clue is in self-determination; think about it.
# Abulhaq 2013-05-21 09:29
Why do we Scots need to justify our rightful claim to sovereignty? The arguments based on our economic potential are fine but they are only one element of the case. The existential criteria, not something Brit politics seems capable of addressing, resonate more strongly. We know we are a nation. The evidence is open to scrutiny. That is all that is required. The time has come to stop playing our enemies' "justification game" and proclaim the fact that, come what may, the Scottish people will be free.

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