Economy report identifies big challenges but falls short on ambition

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said that the new report from the Scottish Government’s advisory group on economic recovery offers some sensible suggestions but falls short of the dramatic steps required to meet the economic challenges posed by the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Rennie said:

“This is a serious piece of work from Benny Higgins and his team which begins to address some of the challenges Scotland is likely to face in the coming years.

“This report is right to identify boosting digital connectivity and the green economy as being at the heart of this recovery. Liberal Democrats have set out proposals for a huge investment in projects such as decommissioning and carbon capture and storage which would support tens of thousands of jobs in the North East and across Scotland. The Government must work hard to make projects like this a reality.

“However, there are other areas where there is a disappointing lack of ambition. In particular introducing a universal basic income would be an effective way to ensure that all of those who have fallen through the cracks in the existing coronavirus support packages are able to put food on the table.

“What this report makes clear is that there will need to be detailed discussions across the whole of the UK. The broad shoulders of the UK economy have helped us to support the public through measures like the furlough scheme. We must ensure that we are pulling in the same direction.

“The recovery from this crisis will be long and arduous. For the sake of future generations, we must build a fair and inclusive economy that supports those who have been hardest hit."

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