The Pagoda Perspective 23.10.17



  • Swedish finance minister Per Bolund predicted Brussels would accept a Scottish application to rejoin the European Union after Brexit, suggesting an independent Scotlandcould follow the example of Sweden, which joined the EU more than 20 years after the UK.
  • A Westminster committee is to examine the effectiveness of UK immigration policy in Scotland. The Scottish Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into how well the current system meets the country’s needs and how Brexit could affect it.
  • Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who sits on the Scottish Government council of economic advisers, has said control over immigration should be devolved to Scotland in a new post-Brexit constitutional settlement.


  • The Scottish Green Party has voted to push for the “progressive use of newly-devolved tax powers” at its party conference.
  • Patrick Harvie has issued a list of demands the SNP must meet before his party will back its budget next year. This includes an above inflation public sector pay increase and an end to the SNP’s policy of cutting Airport Departure Tax.
  • Party members have voted down a motion on the sugar tax, which they argued would fall on the poor instead of the industry.


  • Business leaders on Scotland’s islands have called for more to be done to improve infrastructure and encourage young people to stay in the communities.
  • A public consultation is to be launched on plans for a national investment bank for Scotland. Tesco Bank chief executive Benny Higgins has been appointed to head up a plan for its implementation.


  • The first of Scotland’s new electric trains has travelled along part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow line for the first time. The new fleet is due to enter passenger service over the next few months, offering faster journeys and more seats for passengers.


  • The Scottish Government has confirmed Scotland will become the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children. This has prompted opposition from afar, including campaigners in New Zealand, Family First NZ, who have called on Scots to oppose plans to introduce legislation at Holyrood which would ban smacking.
  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to continue exploring a citizen’s basic income scheme as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to link economic and social policy, while acknowledging it “might turn out not to be feasible”.
  • The Scottish Conservatives have launched the ‘save our surgeries’ campaign, based on concerns that there will be 1,000 GP vacancies by 2021.


  • The world’s first floating wind farm has started delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. The Hywind project consists of five giant turbines tethered to the seabed about 15 miles from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.
  • Scotland’s “most advanced” recycling centre has opened in Aberdeen. The site is capable of processing 20 tonnes of mixed recycling an hour, and collects waste from homes and businesses before being sold for re-processing.


  • The Scottish Parliament returns from recess this week.
  • Ministers in Wales are to bring forward legislation to set a minimum price for selling alcohol. In Scotland, similar moves are currently blocked by the Supreme Court which is expected to give its judgement within the next few weeks.

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