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Economy ‘On Brink Of Crisis’

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Economy ‘On Brink Of Crisis’ GMB Scotland Secretary Tells Government Committee

Gary Smith informs Scottish Affairs Committee that Westminster and Holyrood are ‘failing Scotland’.

The Scottish economy is ‘teetering on the brink of an economic and employment crisis’ GMB’s Scotland Secretary told a parliamentary committee today (Wednesday 1 February).

Gary Smith explained to the Scottish Affairs Committee chronic manufacturing decline and biting austerity are letting the country down.

He also outlined three key GMB suggestions to which could give the Scottish economy a vital boost during his speech.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “The Scottish economy is dangerously weak - it’s no exaggeration to say we are teetering on the brink of an economic and employment crisis.

We’ve lost nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs since 2007, over 40,000 local government jobs since 2010 and with the Fraser of Allander Institute warning of a further 80,000 job cuts, coupled with biting austerity across our local services, without intervention the future outlook is bleak.

Let’s be clear that government at both Westminster and Holyrood is failing Scotland.

There is no industrial strategy, no investment plan and no desire to take the bold decisions that will tackle this culture of decline management plaguing our politics.

There is no shortage of opportunities to boost our flagging fortunes and bring some hope to people.

Here are three suggestions from GMB Scotland:

  • A balanced energy strategy from the Scottish Government, pursuing shale gas and new nuclear, could support and create thousands of jobs;
  • Investment from the UK Government in viable port facilities like Dundee to decommission our offshore sector could help revitalise regional economies;
  • Both the Scottish and UK governments could come together to secure contracts for the construction of three Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) naval vessels across Scottish and UK yards, giving high value work and opportunity to working class communities.

The Scottish political elite has to get real and step out of the bubble.

Stop playing fast and loose on employment and get focused on maximising every opportunity we have to turn around what is becoming a sorry state of affairs.”


Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.