“This lack of economic engagement by senior SNP Ministers remains a weakness for the independence message on the economy. Such a policy vacuum in a key area of the independence debate may be manageable when minds are focussed elsewhere but if a Second Referendum were to become a reality then it would soon turn into a significant weak point in the pro-independence argument.”
“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.”
‘The potential shorter and longer-term economic transition and structural change Scotland faces as an independent state within the EU, while rUK is outside post-Brexit, needs careful economic analysis and an understanding of likely costs and benefits. What it does not need is a studied looking away from the challenging economics of a Scotland-rUK border.’
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.
As much as a third (32%) of the Scottish workforce isn’t working in the lockdown but it’s the young who are the hardest hit and faces the bleakest future – unless we adopt New Deal-style measures to prevent a “lost generation” being scarred for life.
‘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?’
‘To say that the SNP should now revisit its economic plan for independence is therefore in keeping with the times we are in. My call for a radical rethink is not a challenge for the leadership, nor is it a challenge to the leadership. This new situation is a challenge for all of us and a challenge for our party as a whole.’
‘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.’
‘As the inequalities in our economic system are laid bare by this crisis, rather than returning to business as usual, countries such as the UK would be well-served to instead build back better by creating a wellbeing economy.’