“…now would be a good time to shake things up even further. Who will make that happen? I expect little from the Government or the Parliament, it’ll be for others to push for change..”
“For all the talk of the pandemic (somehow) boosting worker power, it looks more likely to deliver the third real wage squeeze in a decade, and to leave workers substantially worse off than they would have been otherwise. By the end of 2024, average earnings are set to be £740 a year lower than they would have been if even the sluggish wage growth prior to the pandemic had continued.”
As UK inflation hits a 10-year high of 5.1%, a leading Scottish economist asks why global prices are rising so fast – and what central banks must now do.
“What Scotland needs is something similar: a Scottish Labour-SNP pact – probably after 2024 or 2026 – with or without the Greens to deliver social and economic modernisation, including the just transition, digital transformation and local government reform, plus constitutional change.”
“The issues are whether and how an independent Scotland would make the transition, at what cost, paid for by whom, over how long and, crucially, what policies would be needed to get to a position where people are at least no worse off. These are not insurmountable but they are challenging. But the SNP, as the main advocates of independence, does not appear up to the challenge.”
“A core resource block grant in 2022/23 that is 8% higher than pre-pandemic might sound generous, but to deal with the pandemic’s legacy and underlying public services pressures it is anything but. In this context, Kate Forbes’ third budget may well be her most challenging.”
Substantial powers are held by Holyrood that could be used to build a strategy that would deliver on the promise made of Scotland becoming the “Saudi Arabia” of renewables. The opportunity and moment may soon be lost if not taken now.
“Governments should work with unions and employers to ensure green jobs: offer good wages, benefits and job security;
provide better training and advancement opportunities;
give workers the right to organise, and are safe and accessible to all.”
The Scottish Government has dropped plans for a National Energy Company in favour of a watered-down advisory agency but the author says electricity should be treated as a public (common) good. The debate continues.
Scotland has ambitious targets to reach net zero by 2045 and, so far, we are falling behind in the cuts to emissions needed to reach these targets…More needs to be done to improve our green and blue spaces, and protect the species that depend on these habitats.