The SDA believe that an efficient, integrated, modern transportation network is key to the economic success of any country and especially vital to Scotland's future prospects due to our widely distributed cities, rural and island communities.
The SDA propose that every aspect of transportation be it road, rail, sea or air will receive the necessary investment it requires to meet the needs and aspirations of a growing and thriving economy.
To encourage growth in the economy and assist with reducing living costs to all households, the SDA propose that the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps, be capped at one pound (£1) per litre. Further, we propose to eliminate the Road Licensing tax on commercial vehicles. This will reduce the cost burden on all businesses and households, and bring much needed relief to our cities, rural and island communities.
The SDA propose, along with changes in taxation, changes of ownership of key components of the infrastucture to allow Scotland's government to achieve a level of integration of all networks to ensure seamless movement of peoples, goods and services, throughout our land.
|Transport - Executive Summary|
Tourism is a key sector of the Scottish economy and employment market, and the SDA is committed to supporting and encouraging this vital industry in order to enable it to flourish within the highly competitive global tourist industry.
The tourist industry in Scotland has been inadequately managed for many years. Since it is such a vital contributor to our economy the SDA seeks radical reform of its management and expansion of its contribution to our national standing in the world.
Control of the tourist industry requires to be de-centralised with control and local issues managed at local level by local tourist boards made up of operatives from within the local tourist industry.
The SDA will work to project Scotland worldwide as a tourist destination. With its many scenic, historic and cultural attractions as well as its vast worldwide Diaspora of Scottish connections, Scotland has the potential to attract a far greater number of visiters and generate a significant increase in tourist revenues.
|Tourism - Executive Summary|
Land ownership and management in Scotland has been at the root of under-investment and under-development for many generations owing to over half of the land of Scotland being owned and controlled by less than 350 people. We need to speed up the process of land reform to enable wider ownership, a broader tax revenue base and incentivise community based land use.
The SDA policies seek to be friendly to business and all commercial activities, upon which our welfare and standard of living depend. The current 55+% of the available national workforce absorbed by the spendthrift public sector must be reduced. We need to ‘Nokia-ise’ our economy, encourage inward investment and stimulate company productivity across the full spectrum of manufacturing and commercial activity.
When a higher proportion of the workforce is engaged in wealth generating private sector jobs there will be a larger proportion of wealth available within our communities and an increase in the tax revenues available for Social Services.
The SDA will seek to promote heavy investment to redress the decades on under-investment in our roads, railways, schools, hospitals, sporting facilities, ports and electrical transmission networks.
The entrepreneurial and innovative talents of the Scots are renowned and respected around the world. We have contributed much to the Arts, Medicine, Engineering, Communications, Agriculture, Energy resources, and other sciences. Many Scottish companies are successfully competing domestically and within the highly competitive global markets. Scotland needs to develop as a primary manufacturer of high-value, but not necessarily high volume products and as a purveyor of high-value services. The SDA will support and encourage them to develop with an increase in collaborative research and development funding and a reduction in bureaucracy.
Database of Scottish Companies
The industrial decline of the past fifty years has been devastating for Scotland's communities, particularily in terms of unemployment and poverty. Industrial capability is even now shifting from the West to Asia. To survive within this trend Scotland needs to be more pro-active at promoting the capabilities of our companies, with their abundance of creative, imaginative and innovative skills.
What does Scotland have to offer? Currently there is a scarcity of such information! To complement the present individualistic company approach, a need has been identified to establish an internet based website to provide a national database profiling all companies and organisations operating in Scotland. Such a collective database should be free for all to explore, thereby promoting free publicity and advertising for all Scottish businesses on a global-wide basis.
The database would be formulated to identify the core products, vision statements, services and skills available for both the domestic and the export markets, and would therefore open up opportunities for tourism, import and export businesses and new industries to exploit Scotland's abundant resources. In turn, these opportunities would generate employment growth for Scottish businesses, both in the domestic and the global markets.
With a low-tax economy, Independent Scotland will be able to establish itself as a cost-effective gateway to continental Europe and Scandinavia. Freeports would be established to handle goods travelling by air, land and sea -- substantially cheaper as a result of our proposed low tax regime.
We propose Freeports, based initially at Prestwick -- for goods travelling by air, at Bathgate -- for retailing cars and commercial vehicles, and at the deepwater ports of Hunterston, Invergordon and Scapa Flow in Orkney -- to provide container exchange facilities between the large ocean going and the coastal feeder container ships serving continental Europe and the Scandinavian countries.
Scotland is served by a range of internal ferries providing vital services connecting our island communities with the mainland transport networks. Scotland is also served by a mixture of scheduled and ad-hoc ferries linking us to our neighbours. The Denmark, Faroe Islands and Iceland ferry connects at Scrabster, ferries to northern Ireland run from Stranraer, Troon and Cairnryan. From Rosyth a regular ferry runs to Zeebrugge and from Lerwick a range of ferry services provides links to Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
To meet the demands of the growing business interaction between Scotland and Norway, a need has been identified to establish scheduled ferry services between Aberdeen and Norway. The ferries would provide regular freight and personnel transport services, including the promotion of tourism to Norway, a country with which we share significant commercial and cultural links.
When Scotland resumes her sovereign status the development of the ferry terminals within the Freeport network would generate much needed business expansion, tourism and employment.
Forests and woodlands cover 17 % of Scotland's land mass - some 1,340,000 hectares - they are a key resource contributing some £760 million per year to Scotland's economy and directly or indirectly supporting in the order of 40,000 jobs. The majority of these jobs being in areas of low employment and in the ever-growing, innovative and profit generating processing sector as well as the timber-frame construction and the woodfuel industries.
The SDA support the Scottish government's intention to increase the land mass utilisation to 25 % by the turn of the century and encourage the growth of a diverse and profitable forestry sector incorporating competitive and innovative businesses - contributing to both economic and employment growth.
Against the outstanding beauty of Scotland's forests and woodlands - eco-tourism - such as bird, beaver and otter spotting - is worth some £200 million per year to our economy and still has significant growth potential.
With a network of some 1200 kilometres of purpose-built mountain bike trails the Forestry Commission Scotland is earning Scotland a world class reputation within the sport - drawing in mountain bike riders from around the world.
The social development opportunities are gaining recognition, with visiters to forests and woodlands experiencing a positive effect on their physical and mental health and well-being. A beneficial effect, which carries over into their personal and work lives long after they have left the forests and woodlands.
The forestry industry is also contributing to tackling the global climate change issue by extensive new plantings of forests and woodlands to assist with the sequestration of carbon within the growing timber. The new economic activity of woodland-based carbon offsets is a fresh development related to carbon trading.
Timber production is a vital contributor to our economy and by 2008 Scotland was producing over six million cubic metres with considerable scope for expansion. Timber processing and wood using companies are buoyant and expanding, increasing home productivity and employment opportunities.
In recent years we have also seen a growing number of biomass energy projects fuelled by waste wood products being successfully completed across Scotland.
This is an area of vital interest to Scotland. After centuries of environmentally benign exploitation and husbanding of resources, Scotland’s fishing industry has been devastated by ideological intervention, mismanagement and overfishing by the European Union. The result has been the loss of 100,000 jobs and an annual loss of more than £1,500 million per year to Scotland’s economy. The SDA proposes complete withdrawal from this Brussels-controlled lunacy.
|The Background to the EU Common Fisheries Policy|
|Fishing - Executive Summary|
Scotland has a long history in banking and financial services, and a well-established industry infrastructure, full support network and co-operative political environment already in place.
Innovative thinking has long been a hallmark of the Scots and we now offer for comment and discussion a 21st century Monetary Policy suitable for Independent Scotland.
Read our proposals for a Monetary system based on Credit rather than Debt.
|Financial Services - Executive Summary|
|SDA Monetary Policy|
Scotland is an energy rich country which suffers from fuel poverty, high energy costs and has over 250,000 of our children living in poverty, many in cold damp houses. Our energy policy is controlled by the UK government with only minimal control devolved to the Scottish government.
A sovereign Scotland will be self-sufficient in energy with abundant reserves of established energy assets including hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, oil and gas. We will be able to develop sustainable alternative energy resources such mirco-hydro, wave, tidal stream and deep rock geothermal power, clean coal technologies, carbon capture and storage and alternative liquid fuels. We do not support highly subsidised unsustainable energy sources.
Scotland still possesses at least 35 years of oil and gas reserves. The SDA advocates that we reduce the 75% oil tax grab and work with the oil industry in order to develop a balanced tax policy which will encourage sustainable development.
The SDA supports the use of renewable sources of energy and encourages credible sustainability in this field. We are opposed to environmentally damaging developments such as large wind-power schemes in scenically sensitive areas.
|Energy - Executive Summary|
Scotland is a small wealthy nation with abundant natural reserves, providing a massive annual surplus balance of payments into the UK treasury, yet Scotland struggles with low economic growth, some 250,000 children live in poverty, due to the inimical UK government policies. We need control of our own assets and policies.
As in other nations across the world the Scottish economy has been subjected to a Spend/ Borrow/ Tax culture, which has contributed to our current economic crisis. Out of control bankers and politicians driven by self-interest! The SDA will seek to strengthen the controls on our financial institutions and politicians. The SDA advocates that we change to a low tax economy and spend our tax revenues on cost effective public services in Scotland.
Scotland has the resources, the skills and the people to stand on our own feet. All Scots should read our report "The Great Obfuscation" which exposes the untruths perpetrated by the UK government and their Unionist puppets regarding Scotland's ability to function as an independent state.
|Scotland's Hijacked Oil Revenues|
|Economy and taxation - summary|
|Scotland's PFI/PPP Debt Burden|
|The Great Deception|
|The Great Obfuscation|
At a time when the world is facing a food shortage the previously highly productive Scottish agriculture industry is in decline. The decline is due to a combination of factors including excessive bureaucracy and often inappropriate regulations coupled to rising costs, inadequate financial returns, low wages and the lack of new entrants into farming. The SDA will work with the farming associations to seek an approach which will address these issues and provide a sustainable industry.
The European Union (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been disastrous to Scotland's farming industries. Excessively bureaucratic, with grants being given to the big farmers and landowners often at the expense of the small farmers who were meant to be the beneficiaries. Long established dairy and beef herds being slaughtered as they are no longer cost effective. We need to get out of the EU so that we can start to rebuild our farming and rural industries again.
Today, an average Scottish family of four is paying an extra £23 per week on their food bills as a result of being in the EU.