"FSB Scotland Index of Success 2007"

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:59 am on 14 June 2007.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Parliamentary Leader (Westminster), First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party 11:59, 14 June 2007

Yes it will, because one of our objectives is not just increased economic growth, which is important, but economic growth that touches every part and section of the community of Scotland.

The index was compiled by John McLaren, who should be taken seriously because he is a former special adviser to Donald Dewar and Henry McLeish. He is, therefore, a good economist who cannot be accused of feeding lines to Bill Wilson for political purposes.

I was amazed to hear the Secretary of State for Scotland, Douglas Alexander, on Tuesday in the House of Commons, seeming to regard the findings of the index as some form of success. I remind members that, on the index, we are 10th out of 10 in the small countries compared and that our position has been declining.

The index does two things. First, it tells this Administration what the starting point is as we embark on a period of government. Secondly, it should convince everybody that the opinion of the Secretary of State for Scotland—that the index shows some sort of deferred success—is not good enough for the new Scotland.