The Scottish Government has announced its plan for post-COVID economic recovery. This briefing provides UNISON’s response to this.
The recovery plan was informed by advice and recommendations from an independent group appointed by the Government and led by Benny Higgins, former CEO of Tesco Bank. These have been accepted in full. A UNISON e-briefing on these recommendations is available here.
Whilst there are some worthwhile proposals within the plan, overall this roadmap for recovery should be of huge concern to UNISON branches.
The Government has accepted in full Benny Higgins’ vision of a business driven rather than a service-driven recovery. This will have drastic repercussions for public services, which are regarded as having no part to play, other than to support and facilitate private enterprise. There is no mention of public sector job creation or utilising the Scottish Government’s powers to intervene in the economy to protect or create jobs. There are references to creating a ‘wellbeing economy’, ‘green recovery’ and ‘community wealth building’ but these have little substance attached.
UNISON branches must be ready to intervene as regional and local recovery plans are developed, arguing the case for an economic recovery based on investing in retaining and expanding local services, and building the alliances that are necessary to fight for jobs and communities.