What kind of country are we seeking to build?
This paper covers the work you have done to prepare your vision for the kind of Scotland we are seeking to build. This work was mainly done in weekends 1 and 2 and you will find it helpful to look at the reports of these weekends, which provide you with all of the detail that you will need about the evidence you considered and your initial findings. You can see the reports here
Separate papers have been prepared summarising your wider work on the challenges to building a sustainable country and Scotland’s finances and taxation and how you have considered constitutional issues. That work is also important in shaping your vision for the future of the country and this paper highlights relevant connections.
How did you explore your vision for the country you are seeking to build?
In weekend 1 you shared your experiences of living in Scotland and ideas about what was important to you in thinking about the future of the country. You built on this work in weekend 2 considering evidence on happiness, wellbeing and values and created statements on the kind of country we are seeking to build.
These statements are not decisions of the Assembly and not every statement is supported by all members. During the course of the weekend you voted to determine those statements which, at that point in time, represented the breadth and diversity of views and those which were most strongly supported as the common ground between you.
The Secretariat has summarised these statements in order to illustrate the key ideas and range of issues that you agreed were important. The full list of statements are included as an annex to the paper. The annex indicates those statements which were agreed to represent the breadth and diversity of views and those most strong supported as common ground between you. The weekend 2 report explains the process for generating these statements and for indicating level of support for each of them.
Our statements describe values that are important to our vision for the future of the country
Your statements include values and principles and the outcomes and issues that matter to you most. The statements describe a country where citizens become more socially responsible and community-minded; a country concerned to ensure fairness and equality; and a country which values diversity and respect for others. It is a country that takes care of the most vulnerable in society, provides a tolerant, safe and stable environment for all people to grow and creates equal opportunities for all. It is a country to be proud of and which sets an example to the world.
Our statements describe the issues and outcomes that matter most to us
Your statements range widely across economic issues and public services delivery. You considered in more detail the challenges around building a sustainable country and Scotland’s finances and taxation. You want to build a country that is prosperous and financially secure, values innovation and enables investment in public services. You call for a strong and stable state pension, living wage, and for fair work and access to jobs for all. You want a fairer tax system which incentivises positive behaviours on the part of businesses and citizens. You want a country that is free from poverty, which improves living standards and quality of life for all and which has fairer incomes and more and better employment and training opportunities. You have many wide ranging ideas about the economy, including prioritising Scotland becoming a world leader in broadband and calling for the nationalising of key industries.
You want to build a country with strong and stable public services for all and which raises and spends revenues fairly and efficiently. That includes investing in and having a fit for purpose health service and creating a healthier Scotland. You want to ensure a future for younger generations, including through a free, world class education for all and creating positive destinations for young people. You want to ensure the provision of housing for all with adequate amenities and an allocations system that considers the needs of all of the people of Scotland. You suggested a need for a state owned transport system and a transport system that is accessible (more joined up and affordable) and helps to address social issues such as obesity and isolation.
You want to build a sustainable country which balances environmental, social and economic impacts for the good of the country and its citizens and agreed a range of potential areas for action to build a greener Scotland, including energy efficient and investment in new technologies, for businesses and public agencies to work together to ensure fair work and changes to public services to support sustainable outcomes.
Our statements say what we think about how decisions should be taken for and about Scotland
The Assembly is an important step in bringing citizens together to enable informed discussion of difficult issues and to demonstrate how the country could find common ground and move forward together whilst respecting differences. The constitution, including where the powers lie to take decisions for and about Scotland and the uncertain outlook is an important part of the background to your deliberations. You have discussed, at length, how politics is conducted and have reflected on the information that is provided to citizens to enable them to take informed decisions.
You prepared statements which show the breadth and diversity of view about constitutional futures, including calling for a country that is Brexit free, critical of its nationalism and welcome, nurture, and support freedom, self-determination and political independence.
You call for greater transparency and accountability, fairness and honesty in politics and for more co-operation between politicians to improve decision-making. You want the diversity of citizens to be reflected in policy making and measures to ensure that the public is educated and informed about the impact they can have on their country and how decisions are made.
Over the course of the next meetings of the Assembly you will prepare your vision for the future of Scotland and your priorities for tacking the challenges facing the country. Further evidence will be provided on the impact of COVID and key ideas about renewal and you will also consider final evidence on citizen participation.
The work undertaken to date is an important starting point in determining your vision and prioritise for action and you will be supported to reflect on that work and to build on these foundations in reaching your final conclusions.
This paper provides a brief overview of the work so far on a vison for the future of the country. Your conclusions will be a powerful voice on the future of the country and the Secretariat hope that this and the other summary papers and interim report are a useful reminder of the work that you have done and help you and your fellow Assembly members agree your final conclusions.