The Scottish Government is failing to deliver its own strategy to grow the economy, a former Government Minister has warned.  

Writing in The Herald, Ivan McKee said that ministers were too interested in chasing good headlines at the expense of implementing policies they had devised to improve Scotland’s finances. 

Mr McKee, a former Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, writes that plans launched two years ago have yet to be delivered, despite having a shelf-life of only ten years.  

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And he said that there is the danger of a wasted decade for Scottish business as the policy concocted to help them thrive may go back to the drawing board.  

Discussing an Audit Scotland report into the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), the MSP writes it was “not pretty reading.” 

The Herald: Kate Forbes developed the NSET during her time as Finance SecretaryKate Forbes developed the NSET during her time as Finance Secretary (Image: PA)

Mr McKee says: “It cites a gap in collective political leadership and lack of clarity on funding priorities. 

“It also notes that the government is still working on its evaluation framework for the strategy. 

“Remember this is us now two years into a 10 year strategy. Time is ticking , and the economic climate Scotland operates in is getting more, not less, challenging.” 

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Mr McKee adds that while "spinners” may count the launch of the strategy a success, the lack of action that followed exposes weaknesses at the heart of government. 

He writes: “None of this of course helps to fix the problems that beset Scotland’s economy. And this gets to the nub of the matter.  

“Good headlines are bread and butter to political operators. Without that it’s hard to get re-elected. But if that’s all there is, and there isn’t the robust follow up to actually deliver things, then it hurts where it really counts, in the missed opportunities across Scotland’s economy.”