Whose Economy? Winners and losers in the new Scottish economy
Many Scots face a life characterised by high mortality, economic inactivity, mental and physical ill-health, poor educational attainment, and increasing exclusion. But anti-poverty policy in Scotland (and the UK) has tended to prioritise only narrow economic growth policies, emphasising employment and physical regeneration, not social goals such as community cohesion, strong relationships between people, a sense of empowerment, and sustainability. Such economic growth and regeneration strategies have not reduced poverty and inequality in Scotland, and anti-poverty policies have, in some cases, made things worse rather than better. But Oxfam believes that it is possible to overcome poverty. As the sixth richest country in the world we certainly have adequate resources to do so. It’s about allocating those resources in a more effective and sustainable way. In Whose Economy? Oxfam is therefore starting to explore the context that makes the need for a new economic development model for Scotland apparent – a model that would share the benefits of growth fairly, create high quality, sustainable jobs for those who can work while protecting those who can’t, and prioritise social goals such as cohesion, strong communities, and empowerment.