Ash Denham MSP has welcomed the findings of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, which was tasked with recommending solutions to ensure a transition towards a greener, net-zero and wellbeing economy, and to advise on measures to address different challenges the economy will face as Scotland recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Among the recommendations with the report, ‘Towards a robust, resilient wellbeing economy for Scotland’, were:

  • an urgent need to access low cost debt requires an accelerated review of the Fiscal Framework, and a significant increase in access to capital investment to support an investment-led recovery
  • a Scottish jobs guarantee, in partnership between business and government, should be introduced to address unemployment, with refocused skills strategies and decisive steps to align teaching and learning in universities and colleges to the needs of business
  • prioritisation of sector plans to deliver a green recovery, where the coincidence of emissions reductions, the development of natural capital and job creation are the strongest
  • critical investment in the country’s digital infrastructure to improve connectivity, reduce inequalities and build the country’s resilience
  • urgent action to develop a stronger relationship between business and government on the strategy for Scotland’s economic recovery

The Group, led by Benny Higgins, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, is an independent advisory group which was set up on 17 April 2020 to provide expert economic advice to the Scottish Government in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Commenting, Ms. Denham said:

“I welcome the findings of this report by the Advisory Group which set out to provide expert advice to the Scottish Government with a strong and comprehensive set of recommendations, which are both ambitious and far-reaching.

“It is particularly pleasing that the Group recognised that Scotland’s economic recovery should be based upon four pillars of ‘capital’ – business, people, communities and environment – and the report sought to treat each pillar as equally important.

“Benny Higgins has said that “radical intervention” is needing to transform our economy to stop inequalities in our society from widening with long-term “scarring” for communities, and for young people in particular. We cannot allow this to happen.

“I look forward to the Scottish Government’s detailed response to this report which will be published before August. I will continue to work with local people and businesses in Edinburgh Eastern to deliver the action needed to ensure recovery from the impact of the coronavirus.”


The report of the advisory group:

Scottish Government press release:

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