THE Scottish Greens have accused the SNP government of being “too timid” in their approach to growing the public sector, as they set out their vision to tackle the climate crisis.

They have challenged ministers to accelerate plans for a publicly owned national bank and energy company, as well as investment in Scottish industries, infrastructure and jobs.

The call came as the party launched plans for a Scottish Green New Deal (GND). It is described as a “roadmap” of policies designed to tackle the climate emergency and create a sustainable economy. A party spokesperson said: “The Tories and Labour savaged our public sector by selling off our energy companies, our manufacturing base, our railways and infrastructure like schools and hospitals to private interests.

“The SNP have been too timid to turn this around, but if we’re going to tackle the climate emergency we need to realign our economy in the interests of people and planet, not shareholders.”

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A report specifying the Scottish GND’s aims makes the case for further investment in the public sector now, as opposed to after independence. It states: “We believe Scotland must now rebuild the public sector to work alongside the private sector, investing in Scottish industries, infrastructure and jobs.

“This would allow the Scottish Government to play a direct role in decarbonising the economy, rather than continuing to pursue the neo-liberal approach of using policy to send market signals in the hope that the private sector responds in the

desired way.

“A Scottish GND can kick-start this process, accelerating and expanding Scottish Government plans for a publicly owned national bank and energy company, establishing similar public bodies at the regional level.”

The Greens indicated the initial GND report will be followed by more detailed work in the coming months, including how the deal could work after independence.

The party’s co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “We are in a climate emergency and so Scotland needs to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. It is vital we do this in a way which creates thousands of quality jobs and improves people’s lives.

“That means the Scottish Government using every power available, including rebuilding a public sector that has been weakened, sold off and made to serve the interests of big business by successive governments.

“It’s time to turn that around so that publicly owned banks, energy companies and other institutions can play a big and direct role in building a green economy, just like happens in many European countries.”