EbeneInfo – GB – Coronavirus ‘could hit the Scottish economy as hard as the loss of heavy industry’

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The Scottish Parliament’s Economics Committee has been asked to draw inspiration from former US President Franklin D’s New Deal Roosevelt

The coronavirus could have as big an impact on the Scottish economy as the loss of heavy industry in the 1980s, MSPs warned

Robin McAlpine, director of the Common Weal advocacy group, insisted that ministers need to be « bold » in the face of the situation, urging them to take inspiration from famous US President Franklin D Roosevelt – often referred to as FDR

Following the Great Depression of the 1930s, he proposed a New Deal to help build economic recovery

McAlpine warned Holyrood Economic Committee MSPs that the Covid-19 pandemic could have « as much of a disruptive impact as the deindustrialization of the 1980s » – when the Thatcher era saw Scotland lose much of its traditional heavy industries, such as mining and steelmaking

Speaking about the pandemic, he told ministers: « There are still all kinds of problems – be bold or you will regret it »

He called on the Scottish government to ‘make a value judgment’ on which jobs to support, suggesting this should focus on manufacturing, high quality service jobs and those in the green economy

The virus has « accelerated » changes in the economy, such as the shift to remote work and the growth of online shopping at the expense of traditional stores on the high streets, he added.

McAlpine said: « My best judgment is that it will have such a disruptive impact as the deindustrialization of the 1980s. This is the kind of scale we are talking about here, a permanent restructuring of the economy »

As the country faces not only the economic impact of Covid-19, but also full exit from the European Union at the end of the year, he told MSPs: “The common practice is not to make a value judgment, come back and let the market correct itself, but it’s not a normal market, we have to make value judgments and I think we should just learn from the past

« It’s FDR time, it’s the time of the great depression, it’s two consecutive economic crises, we won’t recover from the last one when we move on to the next one, this ‘is a big problem

« We have to think about FDR and the obvious thing for FDR is a new green deal to create huge numbers of jobs »

His call came as he warned that the pandemic could cause the loss of many small Scottish businesses – with multinational chains, which are better placed to survive and then likely to take their place

McAlpine said: « What happens if we don’t do this right is the local little cafe cannot continue trading for another nine months during the Covid restrictions and the local cafe or the independent or community cafe farm « 

While saying that politicians have focused on saving jobs, he stressed the need to « also think about the balance of the economy and the balance of the economy that we will have after this »

McAlpine said: “What I really want to point out is that if we allow attrition, the problem that companies face during Covid is to remove companies that have no reservations but to allow them to continue working, the risk is what we lose is Scotland’s indigenous industrial base, our national industrial base « 

Coronavirus, Scotland, economy, Scottish government

EbeneInfo – GB – Coronavirus ‘could hit the Scottish economy as hard as the loss of heavy industry’

Source: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/coronavirus-could-hit-scottish-economy-22987717

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