Reform Scotland to convene Economic Advisory Board to cut through political spin


Reform Scotland, the independent, non-party think tank, has released a new report on the State of Scotland’s Economy. Along with it, the think tank has stated its view that in order to make more complete and sensible policy decisions, we need more and better data, particularly with regard to tax, at our disposal.

The purpose of the report is to offer an overview of Scotland’s economy, looking not just at how we compare with the UK as a whole, but with other regions and nations of the UK.

What emerges is far from clear. For example, although our growth falls behind that of the UK as a whole, growth in tax revenue does not.

The report looks at a number of areas including:

  • Growth
  • Labour market
  • Wealth creation
  • Population

Commenting, Reform Scotland’s Chairman, Alan McFarlane, said:

“In Reform Scotland’s first ever publication in 2008, we wrote that without basic data tools, there is a danger that measuring Scottish growth becomes an argument over statistics  and  economic assumptions, rather  than what can be done to improve our performance. Recent arguments surrounding GERS have shown that we are indeed debating the accuracy of statistics as opposed to how to improve Scotland’s economy.
“Reform Scotland is setting up an Economic Advisory Board to help navigate a way through this maze and to help us come up with policy solutions to the economic problems we face.”

Reform Scotland’s Research Director Alison Payne said:

“This report illustrates the current state of the Scottish economy through a number of key indicators. However, depending on the particular statistics chosen, very different pictures of Scotland can emerge. It is clear that Scotland performs well in some areas, but lags other UK countries and regions in other areas.
“In other words specific policies aimed at the specific problems we face are needed.
“However, it is equally important to point out that just as the economy of different parts of the UK is varied, requiring different solutions to deal with the very different pressures in different areas, so too is the Scottish economy.”



  1. Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility. Further information is available at
  2. The State of Scotland’s Economy can be read here.
  3. The membership of the Economic Advisory Board will be announced in the coming months
  4. Media: Message Matters (Andy Maciver 07855 261 244,; Peter Duncan, 07740 469 949,