A PLAN put forward by Derek Mackay to publish projected figures showing the performance of the economy under independence will be published by the Scottish Government despite the former Finance Secretary’s resignation.

The National can reveal the policy proposal has been adopted by ministers who believe it would give people a more rounded picture of the country’s public finances than the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) statistics.

READ MORE: Why it’s time for Scotland to ditch the GERS figures

Mackay set out the idea in an interview with Holyrood magazine last month saying he felt “frustrated” that GERS figures only covered Scotland’s position within the Union, not its potential outside of it.

He said his new analysis would allow him to say: “Okay, here’s the analysis of where people think we are right now as part of this system and here’s an even better picture of what we think we can do with the powers of independence.”

He went on: “I will publish that assessment next time we publish the GERS figures because I’m so convinced with the economic argument of Scotland ... That will be my annual economic case for independence and, hopefully, I won’t have to make them for too much longer because we will be independent.”

Produced by Scottish Government officials GERS shows the gap between all public spending and tax revenue in Scotland. Last year, it revealed Scotland’s national deficit of £12.6 billion in 2018/19 was at 7% of Scottish GDP. Pro-Union parties use the figures to point to a “Union dividend” – arguing Scotland can only afford its relatively high levels of public spending because it is part of the UK. However, GERS is regarded as misleading by many Yes supporters, as some UK spending is allocated to Scotland on a proportional basis and doesn’t take account of different spending decisions an independent Scottish Government would make.

Gordon Macintyre-Kemp, founder and chief executive of Business for Scotland, welcomed the Scottish Government’s plan. His organisation has published a book, Scotland the Brief, detailing the economics of independence.

“Our lobbying, new research and the financial data in the book have helped steer the Scottish Governments thinking. Our contacts in the Scottish Government have confirmed to us that the departure of Derek Mackay will not stop them getting on the front-foot and utilising the huge amount of ammunition available from the book and other sources to put the record straight,” he said.

“GERS tells us nothing about and independent Scotland’s finances – it makes no such claim but without alternative independence projections the data can be misrepresented and upon that rests that the entire case for the Union.”

He added: “GERS must still be produced but must also clearly separate the Scottish Government’s spending and the balanced budget it is required to deliver. Finally, we need a set of projections detailing the savings of independence once the costs of the failing UK are removed and increased Government revenues from tailoring economic and business policies to the needs of Scotland’s economy rather than the needs of the London bubble. This will demonstrate how independence will deliver increased economic growth and wellbeing in our society.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP said: “The more information available on Scotland’s finances the greater scrutiny can be applied, so I await the publication of this new set of figures with interest.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The GERS publication explicitly states that it shows Scotland’s position within the UK and not as an independent nation.

“As stated previously, we will ensure people have the information they need to make informed choices over the future of the country.”