As we begin to emerge from the locked down life that has become the new normal many of us are keen not to return to the old normal. The crises of coronavirus, climate change are exposing and exacerbating deeply damaging inequalities within society. There are opportunities to change this in the way the Government approach a recovery plan. We were among many organisations and individuals who clearly feel likewise and who have responded to the Scottish Government’s Economic Recovery Group consultation on reimagining our economy to be ‘fairer, greener and more inclusive’.
You can read our response here which asks the Government for an economic recovery plan that puts community and the natural environment at its heart that recognises our planetary boundaries and seeks to ask the question what will make Scotland, its people and environment, thrive rather than, what will make the economy grow. Focussing on more specific but far reaching issues that relate to inequalities around housing and land ownership we also asked the Government to tackle the UK’s speculative land market and the oligopoly of the volume house building industry and to address the inequalities of land value capture between landowners and communities.
In addition, we engaged in and signed up to the response of the Scottish Community Alliance. This focussed on a national recovery rooted in local solutions and a New Deal for communities including £200m of investment across a range of community-based activity.
We also added our name to the 80 organisations including charities, unions and churches who wrote an open letter to the First Minister calling for a radical economic recovery programme that prioritises people and planet over profit. Several organisations have warned against a repeat of 2008, when banks were bailed out with public money following the financial crisis, which only led to greater levels of inequality and higher climate emissions.