The STUC today called on the UK Government to bring forward a fiscal stimulus focused on job creation through public works, investment in clean infrastructure projects and investment in education and social care. It called for the bringing forward of shovel ready clean construction projects, extension of the furlough scheme in worst-hit sectors and an ambitious Jobs Guarantee Scheme to create a road-map to a sustainable recovery with equality and fair work at its heart.
It argued against tax breaks such as a VAT cut, stating that job insecurity and safety fears, not prices, are likely to have the greatest impact on consumer confidence. It also said that VAT cuts were likely to disproportionately benefit the better off.
The STUC called for fiscal interventions to be directed by the Scottish Government with significant resources put in the hands of Scottish local authorities to support community wealth-building. Strict conditionality should be applied to private contractors undertaking public works ensuring decent unionised jobs. A Scottish Jobs Guarantee scheme with funding from both governments would focus on creating decent jobs for young workers and others most impacted by the jobs crisis.
STUC General Secretary Rozanne Foyer said:
“The two biggest determinants of consumer confidence and economic growth over the next period will be people’s concern for their safety and their future jobs prospects. That is why we are calling for a stimulus package that plots a road-map to a sustainable recovery. Tax cuts would be a complete waste of money resulting in better off consumers ending up with bigger household savings while millions of others would not spend because of fears for their jobs.
“The rush to end lockdown in an attempt to boost consumer spending in the USA should act as a clear warning to our Chancellor. The extension of the furlough scheme and investment in infrastructure, care and education in conjunction with a jobs guarantee scheme are by far the best ways to forge a sustainable economic recovery.