D. IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGY
Growing the economy is at the heart of the Scottish Government's Purpose. The imperative of generating increased and sustainable economic growth has, therefore, driven the difficult task of prioritisation within the Strategic Spending Review process. The final decision on Scottish budget allocation will reflect the centrality of sustainable economic growth to our Purpose.
The implementation of the Strategy will be driven across the public sector and supported by the new arrangements within the Scottish Government to provide a clear focus on delivery of the Purpose. Cabinet is supported by a new Strategic Board, comprising the Permanent Secretary and five Directors General, each of whom has responsibility for delivering the Government's Purpose through the Strategic Objectives. Delivery is supported by a Programme Board for each Strategic Objective. This will deliver the Purpose through:
- a wealthier and fairer Scotland,
- a smarter Scotland,
- a healthier Scotland,
- a safer and stronger Scotland,
- a greener Scotland.
The Strategy will help us to secure the maximum contribution to achieving sustainable growth across the public sector in Scotland and at all levels of government.
The Strategy will be used to:
- direct the activities of key bodies such as Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Visit Scotland, Transport Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland Ltd 47 and Scottish Water;
- direct the development of the outcome agreement approach with local authorities that will enable local government to contribute effectively to the country's sustainable economic growth; and
- direct our discussions with the UK Government and the EU in areas which will influence the achievement of sustainable economic growth in Scotland.
The Strategy will only be effective in delivering the Purpose if it impacts on and influences the activities of Scotland's businesses and people. We have engaged widely in the development of the Strategy and have tried to achieve a clarity of message that will allow us to engage effectively in its implementation. The effectiveness of the policies set out here and of their implementation will be critical to the Strategy's success. The Strategy sets out a range of opportunities, of which we can only take advantage if incentives are in place to encourage individuals, businesses and others to take up these opportunities.
D.3 CHALLENGING, MONITORING AND REVIEW
The Strategy must evolve as economic conditions and the responsibilities of the Scottish Government change. This evolution will be heavily influenced by the reviewing of progress from outside of government and by the development of evidence which is brought to bear. To secure this external review we:
- have established the Council of Economic Advisers, which has been highly influential in shaping this Strategy, to advise on how best to achieve increasing sustainable economic growth; and
- are in the process of establishing the National Economic Forum, which will involve key players from across Scotland in building consensus around the collective contributions to achieving increasing sustainable growth.
These bodies will hold the Government to account through assessing achievement of the measurable economic targets set out in this Strategy. The targets are summarised in Box D1 below.
BOX D1: STRATEGIC TARGETS
To raise the GDP growth rate to the UK level;
To reduce emissions over the period to 2011.
In the longer term:
To match the GDP growth rate of the small independent EU countries by 2017;
To rank in the top quartile for productivity amongst our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017;
To maintain our position on labour market participation as the top performing country in the UK and close the gap with the top 5 OECD economies by 2017;
To match average European ( EU15) population growth over the period from 2007 to 2017, supported by increased healthy life expectancy in Scotland over this period;
To increase overall income and the proportion of income earned by the three lowest income deciles as a group by 2017;
To narrow the gap in participation between Scotland's best and worst performing regions by 2017;
To reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 48.
We will formally and regularly report on the progress that we are making in relation to these targets. This is the first time the Scottish Government has set measurable, time-bound economic targets, which will be central to gauging progress towards our Strategic Objectives and towards creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.