It was an odd launch event for what had previously been a much-touted initiative. While all eyes were on the war in Ukraine, Scotland’s finance minister, Kate Forbes, took to Dundee to set out Scotland’s new ten year National Strategy for Economic Transformation. Such events usually involve a room full of press, lots of questions, photographs, one-on-one interviews and then widescale coverage in the Scottish media.

This event however was characterised by complaints from print journalists that they were excluded on spurious grounds of ‘ongoing Covid restrictions’, despite the finance minister speaking to a room full of business people and some select journalists to which this rule seemed not to apply. Subsequently, a ministerial statement on the strategy was made at Holyrood, late in the day and with very little notice.

Why the reluctance to engage with the press and debate the new strategy? It might be because the Scottish government knew the media would give them a hard time. As the paper was released, Roz Foyer, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), who sits on the Scottish government’s advisory council that shaped the strategy, commented on it, saying: ‘Sadly, this is more a strategy for economic status quo than economic transformation.’

Foyer said it has a ‘sprinkling of good ideas’ but that it was a ‘missed opportunity to address the challenges before us and make real, transformational change’.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

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