Scotland needs ‘Google-sized’ changes on economy – BBC

Scottish politicians should focus their attention on the transition to renewable energy if they are to raise the growth rate, a report has said.

A study of low growth in output and productivity has found economic policy lacks focus and can be too complex.

It forecasts Scotland is on course to see a widening gap with countries such as Norway, the scale of which compares to the entire global output of Google.

However, renewable energy is an area where there could be an advantage.

It says the government could focus its industrial policy to supporting the renewable sector, though at a cost to other priorities.

The report, by the Oxford Economics consultancy, states: “It is not implausible to suggest that there are business opportunities that resemble those that generated Silicon Valley, several decades ago.”

The study says that tax policy – controlled at both Westminster and Holyrood – fails to encourage work, savings or investment.

It suggests major changes to the way the tax system is structured, using a broader range of taxes to spread the burden, saying “fundamental rather than piecemeal reform is needed”.

The report was commissioned from Oxford Economics by the foundation set up by Sir Tom Hunter, the Ayrshire-based entrepreneur and philanthropist.

He says the current election campaign features good ideas for spending more, but little focus on how to make more money.

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