The SNP have pledged to hold a competition for ideas to “transform” Scotland’s economy – with a £50 million prize at stake.
If re-elected, the party said, the National Challenge will form part of a 10-year strategy to bring about a green recovery and create jobs.
The strategy will be laid before parliament in the first six months of the new parliamentary term if the SNP are returned to Government.
International trade minister, Ivan McKee, said the next decade “will be crucial in Scotland’s economic future”.
“That’s why, within the first six months, a re-elected SNP Government will bring forward a new 10-year strategy for economic transformation, setting out the steps we will take to deliver a green economic recovery and support new, good, green jobs, businesses and industries for the future,” he said.
“The National Challenge competition will support this work and empower us all to play our part in Scotland’s recovery. Just as responding to Covid-19 has been a collective effort, so will be our economic recovery.
“To elect a Government that will put economic recovery and job creation at the heart of everything we do – a Government that will reject austerity and invest in our economy, our NHS and our public services – vote SNP on May 6.”
Scottish Labour’s finance spokesman, Daniel Johnson, described the move as “bizarre”, claiming it showed that the SNP were “out of ideas”.
“If Nicola Sturgeon is looking for ways to support our economy, Scottish Labour’s manifesto will be published next week and contains plenty of proposals that come in under £50m,” he said.
“Rather than constitutional upheaval, Scotland’s economy needs a plan that matches the resources available to the scale of the challenge. That is why we have unveiled a £1.2 billion plan to support jobs and help Scotland’s economy recover from the pandemic.
“Scottish Labour’s jobs guarantee would be the biggest job creation scheme in the history of devolution. Our plan for high streets would re-start local economies and attract tourists from across the UK to holiday in Scotland.”