The SNP has today published the findings of its Social Justice and Fairness Commission, set up by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to present a route map for delivering a fairer Scotland.
The findings of the report are based on the central principle that the function of government is to make life better for everyone and ensure no one is left behind.
The Commission believes that, with independence, Scotland can build on the foundations that have been laid under devolution by the Scottish Government.
The report offers a conversation starter to find consensus about the kind of Scotland we want to build with independence and how best to get there.
Commenting on the report, the Commission’s Depute Convener, SNP MSP Neil Gray (pictured) said:
“One of the obvious and important lessons learned by producing this report during the period of the Coronavirus crisis is that huge changes can be achieved if the political will exists to be bold, dynamic and innovative.
“Alongside all those who contributed to the commission, I believe we have delivered a blueprint, a route map to a more socially just Scotland, one that focuses on how we should make policy decisions that can help us build a fairer and happier society.
“The proposals we set out are only options.
“Whether all or any of them are taken forward are political decisions and choices for future governments in Scotland to make.
“The time and pace of any such change will be determined by future Scottish governments according to the circumstances of the day.
“And while we consider the opportunities in the short term and what is achievable with the powers of devolution, the report has a clear focus on how much more we can achieve with independence.
“Clearly, the balance of priorities and resources are key to decision making, now and after independence.
“It is not always possible to do everything at the same time, so while there is appetite for swift progress, we have attempted to offer some insight into what we believe our earliest priorities should be.
“We have also set out a number of general ambitions we would like Scotland to pursue, but which will probably take a little longer.
“We have focused on issues affecting Scotland that have been particularly prominent and pressing during the pandemic, those that offer the greatest scope for tackling poverty.
“And while the Commission has merely scratched the surface, the potential that exists to develop policy that delivers our shared ambitions is enormous.
“This report takes the first steps but now there is a need to delve deeply, to develop detail for practical implementation, and to build consensus.
“To that end we would strongly recommend the establishment of a permanent Commission or body to build on and develop our work.”