Policy Papers

Backing Scotland’s Currency – Foreign Exchange Reserves for an Independent Scotland

The successful management of an independent country’s currency is often tied to its ability to raise and maintain an adequate level of foreign currency reserves. These reserves would be used to stabilise the currency’s exchange rate, protect against speculative attacks on the currency and service debt obligations, amongst other uses. In the case of Scottish […]

Renew: Six policies that can refresh the Scottish Government’s domestic agenda

This paper proposes six policy ways to renew the Scottish Government’s domestic agenda through fresh and eye-catching policy transformation after 10 years in power at Holyrood.1: Create a Scottish National Investment Bank and use it to finance an era of green reindustrialisation.2: Build the homes and infrastructure that people need and rebuild the town centres they […]

Public Procurement in Scotland: The case for scrutiny, accountability and transparency

Leading economist Margaret Cuthbert draws on 15 years of research on Scottish public procurement in making the case that procurement in Scotland is shrouded in secrecy and wide-ranging reforms are needed to ensure transparency and accountability.

Potential dangers of public sector investment in hub sub debt

Jim Cuthbert analyses the potential dangers of Scottish Government investment in Hub sub-debt, which may act as a form of ‘concealed’ borrowing from the secondary market.

Mapping Economic Potential in North-East Glasgow

Mhairi Love looks at the case for asset based community development in the North-East of Glasgow through mapping derelict and vacant sites in the area and looking at how the Community Empowerment Act could be utilised.

Divest¦Reinvest: Scottish Council Pensions for a future worth living in

A report by Common Weal, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Unison Scotland into divestment of Scottish pension funds from fossil fuel companies and re-investment into socially and environmentally useful investments.

A Citizens’ Assembly for the Scottish Parliament

Establishing a Citizens’ Assembly as a second chamber to the Scottish Parliament would increase public trust in parliament and boost the confidence of legislators that there is broad public backing for their decisions. We propose selecting a random, representative sample of 73 members of the public to fulfil this role for at least one but […]

The White Paper Project: Version 1.0

The White Paper Project is an attempt by Common Weal to explore the methodology, content and structure of a revised White Paper for Scottish independence.This project is iterative – it has no single author or group of authors but is an attempt to engage the widest possible range of expertise in Scotland in exploring how […]

Air Departure Tax: A Post-Brexit Analysis

An analysis of the SNP’s proposal to half and then eliminate Air Passenger Duty – to be renamed the Air Departure Tax when it is devolved – finds that the economic evidence used to justify the tax cut omits the impact of an increase in outgoing passengers. Once this impact is factored in it is […]

Building Scotland’s future now: A new approach to financing public investment

This paper outlines an alternative to the private finance model for funding the building of public projects in Scotland. It proposes a public-led model based on a Scottish National Investment Bank and Scottish National Infrastructure Company.

The Demographics of Independence: A study of polling on and since the 2014 referendum

This paper analyses polling data taken around and since the 2014 independence referendum to track trends within the published headline polls. Whilst overall support for independence continues to track at roughly the same level as was recorded in the 2014 referendum, significant shifts have occurred within demographics.

An Independent Scotland’s borders and Customs: Principles and Approaches

This paper argues that an independent Scotland could benefit from increased revenue by introducing a “smart borders” approach to its customs and borders post-independence, with the prospects of a ‘hard border’ between Scotland and England “totally overblown”.
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