By Joe James
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon will today vow for her government to lead the way in “redefining” the definition of what it means to be a successful country.
In a speech at Edinburgh’s Wealth of Nations 2020 Conference later today, she will suggest that people’s quality of life should be deemed as equally as important as racking up impressive data in regards to economic prosperity.
Economic measurements such as GDP have been widely criticised over the years, various attacks suggesting that a tunnel-visioned approach to collating data can oftentimes result in a dismissal of the importance of focusing on a better quality of life. Something the first minister suggests she is going to pull out all the stops to put an end to.
“The goal and objective of all economic policy should be collective wellbeing,” Sturgeon is expected to tell the conference.
“This broader approach is at the very heart of our economic strategy which gives equal importance to tackling inequality as economic competitiveness,” she will tell those in attendance at the conference aimed at celebrating economic and cultural diversity across the globe.
Sturgeon’s determination to provide a far greater emphasis on quality of life comes after statistics revealed that Scotland had dropped five places in an index displaying the economic performances of the 32 countries part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) scheme.
The Scottish Trends Index of Social and Economic Wellbeing report has seen Scotland fall from 16th to joint 21st, shining a light on Scotland’s decline in standards of health, economic participation and GDP per capita.
Ryan Kelly, a Scottish Conservative campaigner and activist, isn’t convinced by the timing of this announcement – suggesting that it is nothing more than political spin used in order to mask some very damning statistics for the SNP.
‘It’s been this way throughout so much of Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure – Scotland’s economic woes are revealed and she sprints away from all blame.
‘Even by Sturgeon’s standards, to now suggest that these dismal statistics aren’t actually all that important in the grand scheme of things is laughable.’