The SNP met in unusual circumstances for their 82nd national conference at Glasgow’s SECC. No elections. No referendums. No leadership contests. It all felt very strange. Scotland being knocked out of the World Cup qualifiers didn’t help either. The tone of the conference was quite different compared to recent years too. Flatter, smaller and without the same sense of purpose, it wasn’t until Nicola Sturgeon’s speech at the close of the conference that there was a sense of the old SNP passion.
The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government (PfG) has been billed as a relaunch of the Scottish Government’s domestic agenda. With a second independence referendum on the back-burner and criticism from various fronts that the government was insufficiently focused on the day job, Sturgeon has come out with a wide range of bills and announcements touching on everything from healthcare to education, electric vehicles and the economy. However, is it the ambitious programme that we were promised? Continue reading “Ambitious Relaunch or Back to the Day Job?”
Looking at the most recent GDP figures for Scotland, which grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, it appears the economy is in relatively good health. Indeed, the unemployment rate sits at a record low of 3.8%, and youth unemployment continues to be amongst the lowest of all EU countries. More than a year on from the EU referendum, this is not the devastating economic landscape that many predicted.
The long-awaited announcement of a new city deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland has been welcomed across the region, but are the city deals likely to be game-changers for the nation as a whole? Scotland is now home to four city deals, with agreements in place for Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Highland and now Edinburgh and South East Scotland. A number of additional city … Continue reading Will City Deals Deliver Growth for Scotland?