STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“While we strongly support many of the aspirations in today’s Programme for Government, aspirations aren’t enough and it will take a serious stimulus package to deliver the sort of transformative change being talked about by the First Minister.
“We welcome the First Minister’s commitment to review adult social care and support for a National Care Service. This is a very important development that we have long called for. However, it is deeply disappointing that trade unions representing the workers in this sector have not been offered a seat at the table for any review in order to hold the Scottish Government to account and represent our members. Additionally, given the scandal that has unfolded across our care services and the sub-standard employment practices that have been uncovered the Government must commit now to ensuring that the profit motive is removed from any future social care model and Fair Work issues are addressed as an urgent priority.
“We commend the Programme’s ambition of building a green economy. Unfortunately, the level of investment to create a zero-carbon economy is simply too small to meet the scale of the challenge. Supporting workers to upskill and retrain is important, but it counts for little when there is currently a lack of jobs and demand in the green economy. We need to see major investment and intervention and would have liked to have seen an extension of public ownership in key areas like transport, construction and energy to ensure that the government’s aspirations can be delivered effectively.
“Where money is invested it is essential that it comes with Fair Work conditionality attached. We are disappointed that the Fair Work agenda and conditionality has not featured more heavily in today’s programme.
“We would also have liked to have seen more commitment to increased funding for local government, which is absolutely vital if we are to ensure services in local communities for our most vulnerable.
“Overall the programme is full of the right ambitions, but it’s too cash tight. We will continue to call on both the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to deliver the level of stimulus our economy so desperately needs as this investment can’t wait for the debate on independence to be resolved.
“Today’s programme has good potential, but we need more investment to ensure real transformative change in our society.”
For more information, please contact Rachel Thomson, Campaigns & Communications Officer on 07974966227.