CO-CONVENOR of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, has described the Growth Commission report as a long overdue contribution to the debate on Scotland’s future.

However, he warned that it continued what he called the “flawed” approach taken by governments of all political hues of putting growth in gross domestic product (GDP) ahead of improving people’s quality of life or achieving a sustainable economy.

“While independence will give us a better chance of running a fairer and greener economy, it shouldn’t stop us taking action right now,” said Harvie. “That’s why the Scottish Greens have brought about a fairer system of income tax, an end to unfair benefits sanctions and assessments and why we continue to press the Scottish Government to stop supporting unethical industries and exploitative employers.”

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He went on to dismiss the phrase “sustainable growth” as “meaningless jargon”.

“Governments have obsessed about simplistic measures like GDP growth for far too long, when it tells us nothing about how wealth is being generated, how fairly it’s being shared, or what the environmental cost is.

“So, it’s disappointing that this report continues with that flawed approach. It’s also disappointing that it recommends that Scotland continues the decades-long UK policy of ever-lower corporation tax, showing the SNP leadership are yet to accept the change that’s needed to build a fair economy. There are long-lasting, high quality jobs to be created right now by breaking our dependence on oil and gas and prioritising investment in public services, housing improvements, support for responsible employers in small businesses, the digital and creative sectors, food and drink, renewables and the decommissioning of oil and gas facilities.”

Harvie said that by taking this approach now, we stood a better chance of building a “compelling” case for an independent Scotland.

He added: “I don’t see any commitment in this report from the SNP to end their policy of supporting maximum extraction of an unburnable fossil fuel resource; indeed, they maintain the unrealistic assumption that it will last for many years to come.

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“Having said that, many No voters from 2014 are undoubtedly open to the case for independence, especially when this report is compared to the bleak, post-Brexit economic analysis papers we have seen from the UK government.

“Andrew Wilson is right to admit that not all in the independence movement will agree with what he has proposed. But I certainly welcome the abandonment of the unconvincing notion of a currency union which would have bound the hands of an independent Scotland.”

The Scottish Tories accused the Scottish Government of “obsessing” about independence and failing to grow the economy because of it. Finance spokesman, Murdo Fraser, said: “Of course we want to attract the best and brightest to come and live and work in Scotland. But you don’t do that with high taxes and you don’t do it by trying to tear up the UK. Four years on from the independence referendum, it really is time for the SNP to stop building castles in the sky, and to get on with the job of building a stronger Scotland now.”

According to Scottish Labour, there was “no case for separation” that matched its own vision of “an anti-austerity, pro-public ownership economy”.

“The real divide in the UK is not between the people of the four nations – it’s between the richest and the rest of us,” said their leader Richard Leonard. “Rather than building borders between Scotland and England we should be building homes, schools, and hospitals.”

And Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said there was “nothing hopeful or optimist about inflicting yet more division and economic risk on our country by separating us from the UK”.