SCOTLAND NEEDS THE POWER TO RUN OWN ECONOMY; Plea by Industry Leader

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Byline: By Dave King

ONE of Scotland's most successful businessmen has called for the SNP government to be given more powers to control the economy.

Industrialist Jim McColl, one of the Scottish government's financial advisers, said: "The more levers you can pull to control the economy, the better."

McColl, 56, led a management buyout of engineering group Clyde Blowers in the 90s.

He bought Glasgow-based Weir Pumps in a pounds 100million deal last May. That created a new company, Clyde Pumps.

McColl is a member of the government's council of economic advisers and claimed they have covered a lot of ground in the past year.

The 11-strong group were asked by First Minister Alex Salmond to come together and find solutions to Scotland's "economic mediocrity".

McColl said of government: "Obviously, the more levers you can pull to control your economy, the better."

However, he said the "power of innovation" was not to be underestimated - and said "thinking out of the box" on current powers would help.

He stressed: "That's what the Scottish government have to do just now. They have to make the best use of the powers they have, while seeking some more."

He said: "I think it is better for Scotland if they have more power to manage their destiny.

"In a small country like this, we can be more fleet-of-foot and do a lot more things quickly if we had more powers. …