OVER the last few months in The National, the SBFG has set out how, with independence, we can take charge of our own future by establishing our own currency and central bank. Having our own currency means our government can use the powers to tax and to borrow in our own currency to shape the development of the economy.

Government borrowing provides a safe means for citizens and businesses to save, and for banks and other financial institutions to create the reserves they need in order to lend and invest. If our currency is used to promote the production of all the things we need to live well and in harmony with nature, we will have a currency we can all trust and use.

All of this is predicated on Scotland having a democratic written constitution which empowers ordinary citizens and enables them to participate in making the decisions about our future as a country. Elected representatives must be fully accountable to the people.

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So what is it we could strive for once we have a democratic written constitution, our own currency and a reformed financial system? Here are some objectives we might set for Scotland:

  • Maximisation of self sufficiency in strategic sectors of the economy
  • A financial system which supports the creation, retention and development of indigenous companies
  • A diverse and decentralised banking system in which mutual institutions predominate
  • A robust framework of Company Law which incorporates requirements in areas such as employment standards, industrial democracy and collective bargaining, democratic governance reflecting the interests of a range of stakeholders and not just shareholders, accounting standards and transparency, and full tax compliance
  • An industrial strategy – a framework for creating a balanced economy which enables Scotland to maximise self sufficiency in strategic sectors and develop export sectors to boost trade. Self sufficiency and export capacity need to be managed to enable Scotland to make a transition to a neutral trade balance – neither in significant surplus or deficit. This, of course, addresses any issues relating to the exchange rate of the Scottish pound in the longer term. We would also need a balanced strategy which is open to foreign investment, subject to the provisions of Scottish company law which forms the basis of a “licence to operate” for foreign companies wishing to invest in Scotland.

l Focus on key sectors: emphasising food self-sufficiency rather than exporting, renewable energy, zero carbon heating and transport, construction, steel and other fabrication materials, forestry, health and social care, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, education and R&D, IT, engineering, textiles, long-life household goods, waste management/materials re-use

  • A Job Guarantee
  • Trade and Overseas Investment Scotland’s economy cannot exist in isolation; we are part of an interdependent world. Our long-term success depends upon relationships of mutuality with others. The principle of mutuality includes the obligation to redeem the historical debt this country owes to peoples and places which have been subject to colonial exploitation.

Our trading relationship and our investments overseas must be based on the principle of mutuality, fair exchange and redemption of historic debt. This approach will extend Scotland’s “soft power” throughout the world. We can co-create a new and more just world. In a nutshell, this means we deal with others as we expect to be dealt with.

Our companies must fully comply with the tax systems of countries in which they invest and apply all the principles set out in Scotland’s company codes of conduct.

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Scottish companies must not be permitted to invest in countries governed by corrupt regimes except under the strictest of conditions and provided they are not prohibited to operate in accordance with our principles and values.

This is an outline of a possible Scottish future economy, derived from an understanding of what is possible with a democratic constitution, our own currency and a reformed banking and financial system. Let the national conversation begin; it is for the people of Scotland to decide together now what our future should be.