Commenting on GDP figures published today which confirm that the current recession is the longest in modern history, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“Over the past few months, the STUC has consistently cautioned against growing complacency in some quarters over the immediate economic outlook. Given the trajectory of this recession to date, we think it very unlikely that the Scottish economy will return to growth in Quarter 3 2009. Indeed, the STUC sees little prospect of a sustainable, demand-led recovery in the short-term.
“The STUC also questioned the motivation of the ‘green shoots’ brigade who were very prominent over the summer months. The implicit assumption appeared to be that, since the recession might not be as deep as some feared, the Government should not pursue critical economic restructuring such as regulating the financial sector.
“Today’s figures, confirming the longest recession in modern history, should serve as a salutary warning against relying on the word of the self-styled business experts who still manage to exert so much influence on public policy development.
“In any case, even if the data had confirmed that the UK economy was technically out of recession, it would mean very little to those hid hardest by the downturn. Growing unemployment remains the UK and Scotland’s greatest economic challenge and should be treated as such by Government at all levels”.
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