Growth Commission could win over No voters claims Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the SNP's Growth Commission could help clinch victory in a second independence referendum.

In a column in the Sunday Herald ahead of their conference, the SNP leader said that the blueprint ‘based on hope - not despair’ could hold the key to a victory in the event of a second independence vote.

She highlighted that the report, delivered by Andrew Wilson was a call for all Scottish voters to ‘look at the arguments afresh’ and that the document offered“clear and solid foundations” to “win the trust of a majority of our fellow citizens”

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She admitted in her piece that the document had been designed to target those that had been against independence in 2014, and blasted claims it was a recipe for extreme austerity as “bogus” and as “scare” stories from the pro-Union parties.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Picture; PA

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She wrote: “Some others who have been firmly opposed to independence have been prompted to look at the arguments afresh – and while not yet fully persuaded, now see the option of independence as a legitimate and credible one.

While the document is not up for discussion at Conference, she said that the party “will take a formal view on the report’s recommendations later in the year”.

The Growth Commission has sparked much debate on the subject of independence, with recommendations in the document including maintaining the pound for at least 10 years, limit public spending and take on a share of the UK debt to close the ‘positive relationship.’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon receives the Sustainable Growth Commission report from commission chair Andrew Wilson. Picture; PA

Such actions, according to Nicola Sturgeon would allow the SNP to make a “compelling case for independence”.

She stated the commission had been “deliberately cautious” in order to “prove that the deficit is not a barrier to independence”.

She added: “The commission sets out what other independent countries that have applied themselves to these challenges have been able to achieve, the benefits they have reaped, and why Scotland must seek the powers to do more. If we can all agree that these are the key challenges Scotland must rise to – and we should – the question then becomes: under what constitutional scenario are they more likely to be addressed?”

“We have to show that people’s jobs, their bank accounts, their rents and mortgages and their pensions are at the forefront of our thoughts – and indeed, it is precisely because we care so much about people’s jobs and quality of life that we so passionately believe in independence. With those clear and solid foundations – foundations that the Growth Commission’s report will help us to build – I believe we can, and we will, win the trust of a majority of our fellow citizens.”

She also called for lessons to be learned across the party “from the less than orderly approach to the Brexit discussions so far”.

Scottish Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: “Nicola Sturgeon has bought into the George Osborne mantra that you can cut your way to economic growth. A further decade of austerity would fundamentally alter the role of government in our society.”Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Growth Commission has prompted No voters to look at the arguments afresh’