Policy Papers

Blueprint for a Scottish National Investment Bank

Laurie MacFarlane, New Economics Foundation researcher, provides a detailed case for establishing a Scottish National Investment Bank.

Claiming Scotland’s Assets: A discussion paper on the division of assets and debts to an independent Scotland

This paper explores the historical precedents covering how debts and assets are split when states dissolve or become independent and applies those models to the case of Scottish independence.In particular, the paper rejects the 2014 independence campaign’s “subtractive” approach whereby Scotland adopts a “share” of the UK’s liabilities less the value of an assets withheld by […]

Scottish Currency Options Post-Brexit

The decision of the UK to leave the EU has changed the baseline assumptions about many aspects of politics.This paper re-opens and re-examines the case for each of Scotland’s plausible currency options in the event of independence and weighs the pros and cons of each.The paper concludes that only the option of Scotland launching a new […]

Common Weal submission to Social Security Consultation

In this submission to the Scottish Government’s Social Security Consultation, Common Weal proposes a Child Benefit top-up (made tax deductible), Citizens Pension and a means by which benefit sanctions can be scrapped entirely.

APD Cut: A Flighty Economic Case

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 […]

The Economics of Shale Gas Extraction

The potential environmental impacts of shale oil and gas extraction (SGE) by means of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) have been well explored by various groups concerned by this newly prominent technology but rather less well known by campaigners and activists are the economic impacts.This report looks at key questions regarding the economic structure and impact of […]

The Yes Volunteers: Capturing the biggest grassroots campaign in Scotland’s history

Dr Iain Black and Sara Marsden’s survey of Yes campaign volunteers is the biggest and most comprehensive dataset on activists in the independence movement produced so far, with 993 activists filling out 64 questions and scales (totalling 402 individual items).

How to make a Currency: A Practical Guide

Launching a new currency in the modern digital age is complex – it is a process with a lot of moving parts – but it is not impossibly difficult.This paper lays out a three year timetable starting from shortly after a Scottish independence referendum and culminating in the launch of a new currency on Independence […]

Towards an industrial policy for Scotland: A discussion of principles and approaches

This report proposes a mutual, sectoral model of industrial development and rejects both ‘top down planning’ and ‘free market’ approaches.Our approach is based on the recognition that the economy is not a force ‘external’ to society, governed by its own set of abstract rules or laws. The form an economy takes is inevitably the result […]

Banking for the Common Good: Laying the foundations of safe, sustainable, stakeholder banking in Scotland

This paper is a collaboration between Common Weal, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Move your Money and New Economics Foundation. Author: Gemma Bone.The report makes the case for:Not-for-profit “People’s Banks” should be established in Scotland’s regions to offer banking services to local people and business.Local banks would be part of a “People’s Banking Network” to […]

What can the Scottish Parliament do with new social security powers?

Professor Paul Spicker analyses the planned devolution of social security powers to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Bill and argues:”The reforms have been represented as giving Scotland “one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.” That is debatable. In any federal system, powers lie by default with the states, not with central […]

An Equal Start: A plan for equality in early learning and care in Scotland

The Scottish Government has committed to delivering 30 hours free childcare per week (1,140 per year) for all 3-4 year olds and ‘vulnerable’ two year olds by 2020. The commitment is a doubling of the Scottish Government’s current policy of 15 hours a week (600 hours per year) free childcare, with the ambition that Scotland […]
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