Scottish Labour will unveil a new industrial strategy today filled with “bold and radical ideas” to fix Scotland’s “stagnating” economy after official stats showed the nation only narrowly escaped recession.
Ahead of the launch Labour’s shadow economy minister Richard Leonard said: “For too long politicians have been too timid in their approach to industry — believing the market will sort out the economy” when what is needed is a “bold and radical” approach.
The plans include an enhanced Marcora Law — Italian legislation allowing workers to buy an enterprise when it is up for sale or threatened with closure.
Mr Leonard said this will “help retain jobs and bring more democracy to the economy” and should be “backed up by sectoral bargaining and a beefed-up co-operative development agency established on a statutory footing.”
Scottish Labour also wants to introduce a Scottish investment bank with £20 billion of lending power, and ensure that public spending doesn’t reward companies which engage in blacklisting, pay below the living wage or engage in any other illegal or unethical employment practices.
Official figures showed GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, having shrunk by 0.2 per cent in the previous three months.
Scottish TUC general secretary Grahame Smith welcomed the growth, but warned that there are still “tough times ahead with no end in sight for workers who have been struggling for the last 10 years.”
Mr Smith called on Scottish ministers to end the public-sector pay cap and invest in public services and economic infrastructure.