JOHN Swinney has pledged the Scottish Government will produce “more concrete actions and fewer strategy documents” as he said he would “go all out” to boost growth.

The First Minister said he believed his twin missions of eradicating child poverty and increasing economic growth went “hand in hand”.

Speaking at the new Barclays bank campus in Glasgow on Friday, Swinney also said the Scottish Government must have a “can-do attitude”.

Swinney said: “Reducing poverty boosts spending power, improves productivity through a healthier workforce and leads to greater and more equal labour market participation.

“Boosting economic growth creates the opportunities for people to participate in our economy, invaluable skilled employment that brings fulfilment to individuals and to those that they support.

“Lifting children out of poverty and giving everyone the opportunity to get on in life is not just the right thing to do but it is an approach in line with the values that I bring to government.”

Swinney, who has been in post for less than a fortnight, said he would “take decisions after careful listening and full engagement”.

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He went on: “I want to ensure you that I’m in the business of making things happen, of delivering swift and efficient decisions, based on the best available evidence. Government must have a can-do attitude. We must search to remove obstacles.

“We must offer certainty to those prepared to make commitments to our economy. Our planning, consulting and regulatory functions must be focused on making things happen.”

Swinney said that “bluntly” he would demand more action from his ministers.

He said: “I want the first question we ask ourselves: What can we do rather than what can we write down?”

The speech was attended by figures such as tycoon Lord Haughey, STUC general secretary Roz Foyer, and Glasgow University principal Anton Muscatelli. 

It was welcomed by Iain Baxter, CEO of trade association Scotland Food and Drink, praised Swinney's vision to build a "strong, innovative, and dynamic economy". 

He added: "We firmly believe that economic growth is essential to generate additional value, enabling investment in public services, infrastructure, and innovation – all crucial for societal wellbeing.

"Growth creates employment opportunities, reduces poverty, and enhances environmental sustainability through cleaner technologies and practices."