Proposals to issue government bonds to fund and reshape Scottish industries crippled by Covid-19 have been backed by the chancellor who steered Britain through the financial crash. Alistair Darling, who was in charge of the Treasury from 2007 to 2010, said that he could support the principle of changing the devolution settlement to unlock extra funding for the likes of universities to adapt after the pandemic. In The Times yesterday Andrew Wilson, the former RBS economist and SNP MP, called for investment in the creation of what he named an Intergenerational Renewal Fund. This money could be used for projects including overhauling home heating from gas boilers towards renewable sources and community schemes that have already begun in some places. It would be administered through Holyrood but the Scottish parliament can only borrow up to £450 million a year under the Scotland Act 2016, a fraction of what would be required. Mr Wilson has said that either more powers would need to be devolved or the Treasury would borrow the money on behalf of Scottish ministers.
Times 15th May 2020 read more »