Tue 2 Jun, 2020

The safety of citizens and their financial security must be the priority, not returning to a ‘business as usual’ which put economic growth before both of those things. Andy Wightman

The Scottish Government must match its rhetoric on an economic ‘revolution’ with action to provide financial security for the most vulnerable in society, the Scottish Greens have warned.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has promised a “a revolution in economic thinking” which would lead to a “wellbeing economy”.

Scottish Greens communities spokesperson Andy Wightman raised this at a debate on economic recovery at the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Andy Wightman said: “I welcome the language from the minister, but the time for a wellbeing economy is now, when people are paying the highest price for having insecure incomes and living arrangements.

“The economy is not solely about the interests of businesses. It is about workers, it is about infrastructure, about care, about housing and the environment.

“It’s time the SNP matched its rhetoric with action. In emergency laws they sided with the Tories to support landlords over private tenants, rejecting all my proposals to provide much needed relied to those facing hardship and eviction. They will need to change those priorities quickly.

“The safety of citizens and their financial security must be the priority, not returning to a ‘business as usual’ which put economic growth before both of those things.

“To fully uphold people’s rights to a secure income and a home, the Scottish Parliament needs more powers to deal with this, over fiscal levers, employment, business and immigration. There is also a case for giving Scotland direct access to quantitative easing funds.

"But there is plenty the Scottish Government can do now. If it wants a vision for an industrial strategy to build a better Scotland, ministers should look at our Scottish Green New Deal, which would rebuild the public sector to create thousands of new jobs, by investing the sustainable industries we need. That means protecting the renewable energy supply chain, investing in efficient warm homes and reforesting Scotland to the European average.”

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