In a headache for party leader Nicola Sturgeon, last month’s Sustainable Growth Commission has laid bare divisions in the party and wider independence movement.
With today marking the party’s spring conference in Aberdeen, Ms Sturgeon was forced to defend the study as “re-energising” the independence debate in the country.
The report outlined a more economically credible and less fantastic vision of an independent Scotland – in contrast to that released during the 2014 independence campaign, which ended in a 55 to 45 percent defeat.
Analysts also claimed the report indicated differentiating views within the SNP and wider pro-independence movement supporting those who claim leaving UK’s financial market would mean severe backlash.
Michael Keating, professor of politics at Aberdeen university said: “It’s not really the starting gun for independence.”
The report urged Scotland to persevere with the UK pound over an extended period, maintain its viability in financial sector regulation and to set a firm quota on public spending and borrowing.
The commission said: “The core lesson from other small, advanced economies is that the most effective way to reduce the deficit would be to control spending growth to no more than GDP growth.”
The report’s message represented the liberal economic perspective of Andrew Wilson, chair of the Sustainable Growth Commission, a former SNP member in the Scottish parliament and ex-economist at RBS.
On Thursday, a report released by Reform Scotland said capital markets implement certain structure on small countries and that “downward pressure on tax rates over time can make a contribution to strengthening Scotland’s competitive position”.
However, many pro-independence voters are hoping to see Scotland head to a high tax, high wage economic model, similar to Scandinavia.
Professor Keating claimed the divide between SNP leaders and some of the party’s more left-wing officials has always been prominent, but Mr Wilson’s commission report had made the divide “more explicit”.
Mr Wilson said that an independent Scotland’s would make 0.5 percent more in spending increases a year while moving towards a more sustainable economic model.
However, the report strongly prioritised cutting Scotland’s hefty financial burden, raising eyebrows that SNP is accepting austerity as a backlash for leaving the UK.
On Monday, Richard Leonard, leader of the Scottish Labour party said: “It was billed as the growth commission, but in reality it is a cuts commission.”
According to critics, some of the commission’s plans including having “frictionless borders” with the UK and EU could be compromised after the Brexit deal is set.
Paul Cairney, professor of politics and public policy at Stirling university, said: “The growth commission didn’t really capture the imagination.
“It seems like everyone is going through the motions while we all wait to see how Brexit turns out.”