‘The scheme will apparently operate ‘UK wide, using the new financial assistance powers in the UK Internal Market Bill’. Whilst the fine details are awaited, the lack of explicit reference to the devolved governments will antagonise intergovernmental relations in area where tensions are already running high.’
“But GERS does provide an accurate picture of where Scotland is in 2020. So, in doing so, today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements.”
After questioning economic orthodoxy in his two previous articles, the author asks whether Scotland can deal with the ‘new normal’ and asks commentators/analysts to join nin the discussion.
‘If QE was a policy response to the idea that banks were too big to fail, the MMT response is based on the idea that an entire country cannot be left to fail. The question is: what happens if MMT doesn’t work to save a country in a crisis?’
‘Overall, a combination of : the pandemic lockdown; the existing post financial crisis slowdown, in both absolute and relative (to the UK) terms; and another looming North Sea slowdown, means that Scotland’s economic prospects are far from bright.’
‘Once the public health crisis of COVID-19 is over, it might yet expose the flaws in this capital-led economy just as it has exposed the inadequacies of our public health systems that has suffered from under-investment over a decade of austerity.’
The Scottish Government has yet another new group of economic advisers (on the recovery): it should think more about practical delivery of any new policy ideas, says FAI.
Nicola Sturgeon wants to measure Scotland’s economic success by wellbeing/quality of life, not just GDP. But where’s the beef? The Scottish Budget in February will be the test of what lies behind the rhetoric.
‘It will simply not be sufficient for the UK Government to highlight risks with independence. The status quo itself has important policy challenges, whether that be the economic costs of leaving the EU Single Market or the economic effect of limits on immigration.’
‘The most technologically savvy generation in history – the ‘Zoomers’ – are about to join the workforce. They have different priorities, one being better stewardship of the planet. Building a better future depends on embracing the positive.’ But there are negatives too…