The UK Government should be invited to become an “equal partner” in the Scottish National Investment Bank, according to Gordon Brown.
The former prime minister suggested that by doing so, the bank – established in November 2020 – could be scaled up.
It was set up by the Scottish Government with aims to spark innovation and address key societal challenges.
And it has been backed by investment of £2bn in the first decade of its existence.
However, Brown has claimed that by bringing in the UK Government, annual funding could be increased to £1bn.
According to Brown, that could help spur on the economy and counter the cost of living crisis.
Brown, who also served as UK Chancellor, was speaking on Wednesday as he unveiled polling on the cost of living crisis commissioned by ‘Our Scottish Future’ – the think tank that he founded.
“It makes sense for joint co-operative efforts to invest in these key areas and technologies,” he told reporters.
“Let’s take the underfunded Scottish National Investment Bank. It has only £200m a year to spend and yet far greater challenges than that for new investments.
“We should invite the UK Government to be an equal partner in the Scottish National Investment Bank, using all the resources of Britain to make Scotland an export superpower in renewables, life sciences, digital and manufacturing.”
Brown also hit out at both the Scottish and UK governments for their response to the cost of living crisis.
And he described the decision by Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes to effectively mirror Rishi Sunak’s £150 council tax rebate for people in homes ranging from bands A to D as “failing on fairness”.
He said: “When it comes to failing on fairness, the Scottish Government can’t just blame the UK Government this time.
“For years they have pleaded for the right to do things differently and then immediately on having the chance to do things differently, they do the same as the Tories, both governments snubbing the poor.”