Wed 18 Aug, 2021

What is important now is that we don’t return to the failed economy that allows individuals to hoard obscene levels of wealth in tax havens while levels of poverty rise. Patrick Harvie

New deficit figures reflect the response to the pandemic in terms of government spending but do not cover the real economic challenges facing Scotland, the Scottish Greens have said.

The annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report shows public sector spending rising in the 2020-21 tax year as emergency measures were put in place to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scottish Greens co-leader and finance spokesperson Patrick Harvie said:

“GERS is far from being the incisive analysis of the Scottish economy that some make it out to be. Each year the same people leap on it to make the same points about the constitution, when it tells us nothing about the real economic challenges and choices facing us.

“The economic impact of the pandemic has been widely predicted and we shouldn’t be surprised at that. But it’s important to recognise what’s happening underneath the headline figures. The super-rich grew their vast wealth during the pandemic, while the majority struggled. What is important now is that we don’t return to the failed economy that allows individuals to hoard obscene levels of wealth in tax havens while levels of poverty rise.

“The pandemic has also exposed a system where small businesses are vulnerable to economic shocks while the most exploitative and polluting corporations are free to pursue continuous growth. If we want a resilient economy, this needs to change so that our focus is on the wellbeing of people and planet.”

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