Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to put Scottish innovation at the “heart” of plans to boost the economy.
While he said Scotland “has always punched above its weight in terms of innovation and creativity”, Sir Keir added that the country has been “hamstrung” by governments at both Holyrood and Westminster who have “failed to deliver economic prosperity”.
Speaking ahead of a visit to Glasgow on Friday, he vowed Labour would “put Scotland’s innovation at the heart of an economy that is the fastest growing in the G7”.
He said: “Scotland’s genius can deliver opportunity, create highly skilled jobs, and unleash the full potential for everyone who lives on these islands.
“That’s my promise to people here, that a government I lead will be one in which every region and nation of the UK will be heard.”
Economic growth in Scotland has often lagged behind that of the UK as a whole, with Labour also noting wages north of the border have experienced slower growth than in the other home nations.
Labour said its plans will see more investment channelled into “high growth, innovative” Scottish businesses.
The party also said it could “turbocharge” spin-out investment at Scotland’s universities, while areas such as Glasgow could benefit from the focus on boosting growth in data and life sciences included in Labour’s industrial strategy.
The renewables sector could benefit from the party’s other policies, it said, with Labour pledging to deliver the upfront funding needed.
Sir Keir, who will be joined by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar for his visit, said: “Scotland is a nation that has always punched above its weight in terms of innovation and creativity.
“From Alexander Fleming and John Logie Baird to modern revolutions in tidal energy and medical research, the ingenuity of people here has created prosperity, improved lives and transformed the world.
“It is still true today, from electronic entertainment in Dundee to world leading engineering projects on the Clyde.
“However, the reality is that great spirit of innovation and creativity is hamstrung by two governments who’ve failed to deliver economic prosperity.”
He promised that if voted into power at Westminster, Labour would deliver “a mission-driven government that will end sticking plaster politics, will unlock the pride and purpose that is in every community, will give this country its confidence, its hope, its future back”.
However SNP Westminster deputy leader Mhairi Black said: “Keir Starmer is happy to throw Scotland under Boris Johnson’s Brexit bus – and as such he has zero credibility in talking about Scotland’s economy.
“Under him and Anas Sarwar, Labour is a pro-Brexit party that would do nothing to reverse the appalling damage the Tories are inflicting on Scotland having dragged us out of the EU.
“Instead Labour stand side by side with the Tories in keeping us locked outside the single market, which is seven times the size of the UK’s.
“It is clearer by the day that the only way for Scotland to flourish is by becoming an independent country and rejoining the European Union.”
Scottish Conservatives were also critical of Labour, with Tory finance spokesperson at Holyrood Liz Smith stating: “The SNP government’s record on productivity and growth is dreadful – but there’s no reason to think Labour would do any better.
“Keir Starmer is ignoring the fact that, under Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour has consistently backed the very SNP policies that have stifled economic growth and made Scotland uncompetitive.”
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Source by [earlynews24.com]