She urged supporters to “get your jackets on” and campaign to win the case for independence, during a keynote speech at the SNP’s Spring conference in Edinburgh today.
The First Minister set out plans for a Social Justice and Fairness Commission aimed at setting out how the proceeds of growth will be shared fairly after a Yes vote.
It comes after the SNP leadership yesterday suffered a shock defeat to party activists seeking a fast-track move to a new Scots currency after a Yes vote. There have also been concerns that the party’s economic proposals, with six key fiscal tests, could lead to a decade of austerity after a Yes vote..
But the First Minister, who announced last week she will be seeking to hold a referendum on independence next year, said the economic case will be critical.
“If we can now show what is possible with the economic powers of independence, we will win a referendum,” she said.
“We have set out an ambitious, optimistic and realistic way forward for these new times.
“And so I can announce today that we will now launch the biggest campaign on the economics of independence in our party’s history.
“From this summer, we aim to get information on Scotland’s potential into the hands of every voter.
“Our plan is to distribute “An independent Scotland – a household guide” to every home across the country - all 2.4m of them.
“So friends, you know what that means…it is time to get your jackets on.”
The SNP conference yesterday voted in favour of adopting a new Scots currency after a Yes vote. But activists changed the leadership’s plan for a more cautious approach and backed an amendment calling for this to be adopted “as soon as is practicable” after independence. However, six key fiscal tests on issues like bringing Scotland’s public finances under control and building up the reserves of the new control bank remain.
“As an independent nation we will face challenges, as all independent countries do,” Ms Sturgeon added.
“And we must be responsible with our finances. But few countries on earth can match our resources and our potential.
“So never let anyone tell you that Scotland doesn’t have what it takes to be a prosperous, independent nation. Because our country most certainly does.
“Our new economic plan demonstrates the potential of an independent Scotland.”
The importance of social justice and equality was also underlined by the SNP leader who said this will lea to a strong economy.
The SNP leader added: “That is why I am announcing today the next step for the SNP in setting out our vision of a fairer, independent Scotland.
“Building on the foundation of Andrew Wilson’s work on the economy, I am now setting up a Social Justice and Fairness Commission.
“It will set out how the proceeds of economic growth in an independent Scotland can be shared much more fairly. It will demonstrate how we can use the powers of independence to end poverty, achieve full employment, and drive equality for all.
“It will look at how we can deliver fairness for pensioners. Be a nation that sets a gold standard for equal pay. And create opportunity for all of our young people. All of that is what independence is for.”