Commenting on Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Jimmy Paul, Director of Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s aspiration to become a Wellbeing Economy and the aim to respect environmental limits. The Strategy includes some positive commitments such as a wellbeing economy monitor to measure the things that really matter to people.
“But this does not amount to a plan to transform our economy to one that truly puts our collective wellbeing first. The last decades have shown us that economic models that focus too narrowly on growth and productivity for their own sake fail to translate into more secure jobs, higher wages, decent housing for all, or a healthier natural environment. Assuming growth and productivity will trickle down to all has been debunked – Scotland needs to be bolder in its approach to economic change.
“Businesses have a vital role to play in a Wellbeing Economy, but the Strategy fails to offer a clear mechanism to ensure the enterprises Scotland will nurture will help build thriving local communities.
“The Strategy refers to economic transformation as a “collective national endeavour”, but there is no evidence that this Strategy has had input from citizens and communities across Scotland. This must be the start of conversation across Scotland about how we choose a new economic path that serves the health and wellbeing of our communities and protects the planet we depend on.
“Scotland has positioned itself at the forefront of the movement to build a new type of economy, and the world is watching. Last week, 40 leading economists and climate change academics urged the Scottish Government to set out how it will put environmental and social concerns at the heart of financial and economic decision making. This Strategy stops short of achieving that.
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Notes to editors
- Dr Lukas Hardt, ecological economist and Policy Lead at Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is available for interview.
- Scotland’s National Strategy for Economy Transformation is here
- Nicola Sturgeon has previously championed the Wellbeing Economy agenda with her Ted Talk on the subject receiving 2.4 million views. Scotland is a founder member of the Wellbeing Economy Governments Partnership together with New Zealand, Wales, Finland and Iceland.
- Last week, 40 leading economists and academics called on the Scottish Government to use the strategy to set out how it will put environmental and social concerns at the heart of financial and economic decision making. Their asks, supported by Poverty Alliance, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Scottish Environment Link and others here.
- The strategy comes as yesterday’s IPPC report showed we only have a brief window to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.