Policy Papers

Back to Life: Visions for Alternative Futures for Scotland’s Grouse Moors

Almost one fifth of Scotland’s land is kept barren and dead for the sole purpose of maximising the number of red grouse – so they can be killed for sport. Many people object to the killing of animals for sport as a matter of principle; others believe that Scotland’s land is concentrated in too few […]

Back to Life: Mapping Scotland’s Alternative to Grouse Moors

Between 12% and 18% of Scotland’s total land area is currently reserved for grouse moors. Despite this, the economics of such activity has been shown to be significantly worse than any other reasonably conceivable economic activity.This map – produced with Lateral North and the Revive Coalition – graphically illustrates the economic case for grouse shooting […]

Development Councils: A Proposal For A New System Of Local Democracy In Scotland

Scotland has the worst degree of local democracy in Europe. To correct this, Scotland should create a new tier of local democracy at the community level. The size and shape of each new democratic area should be defined by communities themselves through a participatory process. Each area should then be represented by a Development Council, […]

Our Democracy Is Not For Sale

This paper looks at the vulnerabilities in the UK’s electoral process in the form of the lax regulation around digital political adverts. Such adverts can be bought cheaply and tightly micro-targeted at individual voters. The current fines levied against groups who over-spend on campaigns is low enough that not only do they provide no deterrence […]

Feed-In Tariffs Scheme: Common Weal Consultation Response

Common Weal opposes the UK government’s proposal to close the Feed-In Tariffs scheme, which was introduced in 2010 to support the adoption of small-scale, low-carbon electricity generating technologies.This paper forms Common Weal’s response the government’s consultation on the proposed closure and argues that the scheme should be retained for a further five years.

Scottish Building Regulations: Review of Energy Standards – Common Weal Consultation Response

This report forms Common Weal’s response to the first stage of the Scottish government’s review of building energy standards and is part of our ongoing work on energy and housing policy.We argue that the Scottish government should introduce passive standards for new buildings in Scotland while existing buildings should be retrofitted to the maximum technically […]

Public Energy Company – Common Weal Consultation Response

This response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the future of energy in Scotland calls for a publicly owned energy company to generate and deliver energy to the people of Scotland.Our response states that a publicly owned energy company must be founded on four core principles.1) It must have the ability and mandate to create […]

Data Protection and Democracy

Peter Ryan examines the expansion of data collection and its use as a tool for the manipulation of elections.Several recommendations are made which will help safeguard our democracy against unfair or malicious influence from companies or foreign states.

Incentives and Opportunities Signalled by Transmission Charges in Scotland

Scotland is not well served by the UK’s National Grid and the current system restricts the development of Scotland’s renewable energy potential and leads to high charges for Scottish consumers.The paper has been written by Iain Wright who has more than 35 years of experience working in the energy sector in both Scotland and Ireland […]

Scotland’s Fiscal Future

In the second paper of a series examining the Sustainable Growth Commission’s report, Common Weal looks at Fiscal Policy and provides an alternative prospectus based on ensuring wellbeing and equality for the people of Scotland.The quest for GDP and GDP Growth is not sustainable in a finite world and this should also be recognised by […]

Scotland’s Monetary Future

Common Weal launches a major new campaign supporting the proposal that an independent Scotland should have its own currency by day one of independence.Common Weal believes that an independent Scotland needs its own currency. This is the core message of a major new campaign to influence and add to the discussion around what independence should look like […]

The Demographics of Independence – 2018 Edition

An update to the study published in early 2017, this paper examines trends in polling on the question of Scottish independence to look at shifts in attitudes amongst groups such as the developing trends based on voter age, income, gender and nationality.
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