Witnesses announced for the Economy Committee’s inquiry into Scotland’s economic future


Senior figures from the worlds of politics, business and academia will be asked for their view of Scotland’s economic future post 2014 as part of an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee.

At the Committee’s first evidence session on 19 February, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP, will outline the views of the UK Government. The Committee will then take evidence from the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP.

Senior business figures will be questioned on their vision for the economy at the Committee’s meeting on 26 February. Witnesses will include Rupert Soames of Aggreko, Maitland Mackie of Mackie’s of Scotland, Ben Thomson of Inverleith Capital LLP and Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers.

The Committee will also hear the expert views of academics and economic think tanks from Scotland and the UK on how they see the economy working in the event of a yes or no vote. Organisations including the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Fiscal Commission Working Group and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research will give evidence to the Committee on the 5 March.

Representatives from the two campaign groups – Yes Scotland and Better Together - will also give evidence towards the end of the inquiry. 

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“This inquiry deals with issues at the heart of the debate about our constitution. We hope that by hearing from senior witnesses that are expert in their field, we provide a platform for debate on some of the major issues that are currently dominating media headlines.”



A full list of the witnesses that will give evidence to the Committee’s first four meetings on the inquiry is as follows:

19 February 2014 – UK and Scottish Ministers
Panel 1

  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP

Panel 2

  • Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP
  • Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP 

26 February 2014 – business people
Panel 1

  • Rupert Soames, Aggreko
  • Norman Springford, Apex Hotels
  • Maitland Mackie, Mackie’s of Scotland
  • Robert D. Kilgour, Chief Executive of Dow Investments and Chairman of Renaissance Care Scotland

Panel 2

  • Jim McColl, Clyde Blowers
  • Marie Macklin, Klin Group
  • Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, Business for Scotland
  • Dan Macdonald, Macdonald Estates

Panel 3

  • Ben Thomson, Inverleith Capital LLP
  • Hugh Andrew, Birlinn Press
  • Other witnesses tbc

5 March 2014 – economic think tanks, academics and the Fiscal Commission
Panel 1

  • Paul Johnson, Institute of Fiscal Studies
  • Professor Jo Armstrong, Centre for Public Policy for Regions
  • Dr Angus Armstrong, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Panel 2 (Fiscal Commission)

  • Crawford Beveridge, Chair
  • Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, St Andrew’s University and Member of the Fiscal Commission

Panel 3

  • Professor David Bell, ESRC fellow, University of Stirling
  • Professor David Simpson
  • Professor Charlie Jeffery, University of Edinburgh

12 March 2014 – monetary policy

  • Sir John Gieve, former deputy governor of the Bank of England
  • Professor Ronald MacDonald, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Monique Ebell, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
  • Professor Anton Muscatelli, political economist (appearing in a personal capacity)

21 May – campaign groups

Panel 1

Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP and Blair McDougall, Better Together

Panel 2

Dennis Canavan and Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland

This inquiry is scheduled to take evidence until June. Witnesses for sessions later on in the inquiry will be announced in the coming weeks. These sessions will cover a range of issues that are detailed in the inquiry’s remit, including:

  • taxation, spending, borrowing and debt matters
  • economic sectors, regulation, trade and the labour market
  • welfare and equality issues
  • energy, including oil and gas and renewables
  • EU and international issues, including lessons from abroad

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