First Minister Alex Salmond has today announced the appointment of four eminent economists to oversee work to establish a fiscal and macro economic framework for Scotland.
The Fiscal Commission Working Group will draw on membership of the Council of Economic Advisers. Professors Andrew Hughes Hallett, Sir Jim Mirrlees, Frances Ruane and Joseph Stiglitz will advise on the establishment of a credible Fiscal Commission which entrenches financial responsibility and ensures market confidence.
Mr Salmond said: “In Scotland, fiscal discipline is not a constraint on our ambition. We consider it a pre-requisite to economic prosperity. Responsibly managing the budget of an independent Scotland will help deliver the investment in growth and the creation of a wealthier and fairer society that is at the heart of our arguments for independence.
Mr Salmon said the appointments would help Scotland remain financially responsible in the event of independence
“The Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers draws together some of the world’s foremost economists, academics and business people – including two Nobel Prize winners. I am delighted that four internationally renowned economists – Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor Sir Jim Mirrlees, and Professor Frances Ruane will also be working with us to inform Scotland’s fiscal future.
“Together their invaluable knowledge and expertise will inform Scotland’s alternative fiscal path and demonstrate the commitment the Scottish Government places on ensuring financial responsibility with independence.
“With independence Scotland will have normal control of its public finances and the key economic levers vital to boost sustainable economic growth. We are determined that discipline is exercised responsibly in the interests of the people of Scotland. The creation of the Fiscal Commission Working Group reaffirms that commitment.”
Professor Stiglitz added: “I welcome the setting up of the Fiscal Commission Working Group and look forward to bringing my international experience to inform the design of a sustainable and dynamic macroeconomic architecture for Scotland, and one which works to ensure full employment and economic security for all.”
Professor Sir Jim Mirrlees said: “I welcome the establishment of the Fiscal Commission Working Group, which demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to exploring in full the appropriate macroeconomic framework for an independent Scotland. I look forward to supporting this work. My expertise in areas such as taxation should help us design a possible tax system as part of that framework.”
Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett said: “The current sovereign debt crisis reiterates again the need for governments to have an independent body ensuring the public finances remain on a sustainable footing. The Scottish Government’s decision to set up a Fiscal Commission Working Group underlines their commitment to putting in place the macroeconomic architecture required to ensure a fiscally independent Scotland remains fiscally responsible. I look forward to contributing to this vital programme of work.”