Scottish Greens: Economic recovery report lacks urgency

The Scottish Government’s plans for a new economy lacks the urgency needed to build a green jobs recovery, the Scottish Greens have said.

The Scottish Government’s advisory group on economic recovery has produced its report ‘Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland’, which offers recommendations to build a fairer and greener Scotland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “I welcome that this report has recognised that things need to change, that the economy needs to work for people and planet, but there is little urgency on show.

“When the Scottish Government responds in July, we need to see real action to build a green jobs recovery which responds to the Covid-19 crisis and the climate emergency.

“The challenge now is to build a better economy, but clearly we will need to go further and faster than the recommendations here.

“A Scottish jobs guarantee was in our Holyrood manifesto so I am delighted to see it in this report. Young people must be guaranteed not just a job, but a secure and well-paid role in building a greener Scotland.

“I welcome the recognition that we should take public stakes in businesses, but this can’t be on a strictly commercial basis. If we are to invest in a green jobs recovery public investment needs to be strategic, to steer the economy toward a socially just and sustainable future.

“More conditionality in business support is also something we’ve long called for. Every penny of public money must come with a commitment to end insecure and low pay, which is endemic in some sectors, so a bolder approach is needed.

“This report also recognises what the Scottish Greens have been saying for years: that renewable energy is the key to unlocking our prosperity, not oil and gas. That’s why Scottish Government needs to map out how it will invest in this sector, and give an assurance that it won’t be bailing out the polluting industries of the past.”