John Swinney vows to end culture of ‘government by press release’

First Minister John Swinney says the Scottish government is producing too many strategy documents and “concrete actions” are needed instead.

In a speech in Glasgow, Mr Swinney said he said he wanted his ministers to have a “can do attitude”, which would remove obstacles in the economy.

He said: “A strategic approach is clearly essential, but I want the first question we ask ourselves to be – what can we do, rather than what can we write down.”

Mr Swinney added that his government would take a “moderate, left of centre position” rooted in European social democracy.


The first minister was speaking to key finance, business and economic stakeholders at the Barclays Glasgow Campus.

He set out the government’s broad priorities on the economy, saying the details of specific policies would come later.

The SNP leader said that in order to tackle child poverty, a “strong, successful, innovative and dynamic economy” was needed.

“There is no conflict in my mind or in the priorities of my government between eradicating child poverty and boosting economic growth,” he said.

“For me, and for my government, eradicating child poverty and boosting economic growth go hand in hand.”

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