STUC welcomes shift towards social justice in referendum debate

February 22nd 2013

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“The STUC welcomes YES Scotland’s comprehensive and serious response to our A Just Scotland interim report. We will of course address the many arguments and challenges set out in the paper in a detailed and considered manner over the coming weeks. A Just Scotland was designed to provoke exactly this kind of constructive discussion and debate.

“The STUC believes that A Just Scotland has played an important role in shifting the independence debate onto the ground of social justice, evidenced by key speeches made recently by Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar and others. And, as reflected in the ‘Yes to a Just Scotland’ report, the campaigns are helpfully moving away from the ‘Nirvana’ or ‘Disaster’ approach to Scotland’s fiscal position – something which can only serve to improve the quality of the debate.

“Nonetheless the STUC believes that significant challenges remain for both campaigns. Commitments in areas such as welfare continue to be made without the necessary related commitment to redistribution through increased taxation. Both campaigns lack any clear vision of how collective bargaining and a properly regulated labour market might be used to reduce income inequality.

“A Just Scotland has challenged both campaigns in some key policy areas and it is entirely legitimate that the ‘YES’ campaign, and ‘Better Together’ campaign, should pose questions back at us. Issues such as economic policy, welfare and employment will play a key role in our coming deliberations. It should not be forgotten however that the vast majority of resources continue to lie with those who have made up their minds - the respective governments and the two campaigns. The capacity of those in civil society who wish to promote a participative grassroots debate for the undecided is strictly limited by resource”.


For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100

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