Coronavirus

Scotland needs Recovery and Real Change

  • Deliver the real change that we need with a socialist recovery plan, to build a resilient Scotland with public services that can meet the needs of the 21st century.
  • Prevent another care catastrophe with a publicly-owned National Care Service.
  • Support the Socialist Green New Deal – Coronavirus is an environmental emergency as well.
  • Ensure safe work environments for all by putting workers and Unions in charge of Health & Safety.

The Coronavirus crisis has caused significant disruption to daily life, to the economy, and has taken thousands of lives in Scotland. It has exposed the weaknesses and injustices of life under capitalism as working-class people bare the brunt of the crisis – while the billionaires get richer and richer.

We can’t go back to how things where before the Coronavirus – and it wouldn’t be worth doing if we could. Social and economic recovery and real, lasting change go hand-in-hand. Only the Scottish Socialist Party is arguing for real, lasting change in Scotland.

Coronavirus is a natural phenomenon, but the crisis is capitalism. Scotland needs real change and a systemic transformation to ensure genuine social recovery.

Socialist Recovery Plan: Demand Real Change

The working class must not be made to pay the bill for Coronavirus – but that is what the bosses, billionaires, and Tories intend to do. The UK government’s hollow response is just more of the same: more low-paid, insecure jobs, and more unsustainable reliance on short-term consumer spending.

This won’t do. We need real change to raise pay, bring down living costs, and build a democratic, publicly-owned, needs-based, and sustainable economy. Instead of repeating the housing and unemployment crisis of 2008, we need to bail out workers – not the billionaires.

Video credit: Polina Braday, “Healthworkers Say No! – Glasgow”

More than half of all people in Scotland who are in poverty live in employed households. Before the Coronavirus crisis, 38% of people in Scotland had savings below £2,500 – 21% had no savings at all. The “gig economy”, insecure jobs, and suppressed wage growth have done serious social and economic damage. That’s why the SSP is winning real change for workers.

To raise incomes and provide household economic stability, we support a £12 minimum wage for all workers over the age of 16 – scrapping the bosses’ phony, low-paid apprenticeships and age discrimination. We’ll make sure every worker who wants one is offered a secure contract with no less than 16 hours minimum per week.

Scotland’s economy needs a real shot in the arm, not restaurant coupons. That’s why we’re planning a Socialist Green New Deal to build a sustainable, publicly-owned new economy for Scotland – creating lasting jobs through public investment in infrastructure, housing, agriculture, health, care, transport, education, and green energy.

Scotland has a housing crisis, and the economic disruption of Coronavirus puts us on the brink of an evictions catastrophe. Despite that, the SNP and the Tories worked together to block protections for tenants – and bailed out landlords instead. We need urgent action to solve Scotland’s housing crisis and end the threat of homelessness – that’s why we’re introducing fair controls on rent and evictions, and restoring public housing stock.

A National Care Service

The Common Weal think-tank identifies COVID-19 deaths in Scottish care homes as “the single greatest failure in devolved government since the creation of the Scottish Parliament“. With 70% of private care homes reporting cases of Coronavirus, and care home deaths overtaking deaths in NHS hospitals in June 2020, we have seen a Coronavirus care catastrophe in Scotland.

Care workers have endured the pandemic during a crisis of poverty pay and unsafe work. Understaffing, overwork, suppressed pay, job insecurity, a lack of training, and inadequate provision of PPE have put carers and those being cared for at risk.

43% of Scotland’s care workers receive less than £9.30 an hour – and the majority of low-paid care workers are women or migrants. This is exacerbated by unpaid travel time and unpaid sleep-ins, as well as insecure, zero-hour contracts and the bosses’ phony “self-employed” arrangements.

Care workers simply cannot afford to be off sick – which means they will get sick. This system is bad for care workers, and undermines the resiliency and capacity of care in Scotland. Enough is enough: we need real change.

To provide for carers, to protect service users, and to prevent another care catastrophe, we need a publicly-owned National Care Service, publicly-funded, and free at the point of need.

An Environmental Crisis

SARS-CoV-2 isn’t the first zoonotic health emergency or even the first Coronavirus. It will not be the last emerging environmental health crisis that we face. In an increasingly connected world, it is getting harder and harder to stop outbreaks from becoming pandemics. The Socialist Green New Deal will make sure we have a relationship with the environment that puts human health before private profit.

Industrial, for-profit, intensive animal farming and the destructive expansion of farming into wetlands and rainforests have made the possibility of a zoonotic pandemic a known risk. But governments weren’t paying attention.

By restoring land and biodiversity in Scotland, and employing radical, sustainable, publicly-owned, plant-based agriculture to meet our food needs, we’re moving Scotland into a world of putting regional sustainability before unsustainable capitalist growth.

The Coronavirus crisis has caused serious economic disruption – and changed perceptions about what’s important, and how we provide for our most important needs. We can no longer justify the carbon footprint, pollution, and waste of the overproduction and shipping of things we just don’t need.

Putting short-term profiteering before long-term sustainability and resiliency is at the heart of the climate crisis – and the Coronavirus crisis. Instead, we’re building a Scotland with a needs-based economy, resilient enough to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Health and Safety at Work

Workers have been forced back to unsafe working conditions during Coronavirus. Because of austerity, written in Westminster and passed on by Holyrood, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been completely gutted. Workers need an effective health and safety watchdog, and strong advocates for health and safety at work.

We’ll make sure that the Scottish Government uses existing devolved powers in health to protect and expand the right to refuse unsafe work – and recognise the key role that Trade Unions play in keeping Scotland safe and well.

Workers in every workplace will have the means to establish elected shop stewards and Health & Safety representatives, to oversee the reorganisation of workplaces and safety practices for Coronavirus.

Every worker in every workplace will have an updated, Union-approved Coronavirus risk assessment and safety plan, and we’ll work with the NHS, Unions, and local healthcare to make sure all workers have access to regular, professional Coronavirus testing.

PPE needs to be the norm, not the exception. To provide adequate PPE for workers, we’ll bring publicly-owned PPE production back to Scotland – creating PPE reserves by removing profiteering, and creating jobs along the way.

We Need You to Support Real Change

We don’t have or want billionaire backers and big corporate donors: we only seek our support from Scottish Socialist Party members and the generosity of working-class communities. We need you to support real change.

Scottish Socialist Party members are card-carrying ambassadors for the working-class movement, and the most important resource we could ever have. Comradeship is the heart of the socialist movement.

Come rally; support real change today.