The Scottish economy grew by 0.9% in February and is now 7.4% below pre-pandemic levels. The hospitality industry remains the hardest hit sector of the economy however, with the easing of lockdown restrictions late last month, there is some hope for this industry.
There is an apparent consensus among the main political parties that there needs to be additional action in the next parliament on poverty, and particularly child poverty. This article looks across the manifestos to review action on the three main policy areas that can make the biggest difference to poverty in the here and now: social security, work and housing, to tackle poverty.
Some of the parties have committed to infrastructure or capital programmes, which can have very large sums attached to them over multiple years. Often, though, there will also be estimates for the number of jobs “created” or “supported” due to these programmes. But how do the parties come up with these numbers?
The UK’s devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for designing and implementing large parts of the health and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But how effectively do their funding settlements enable them to do this? Do the devolved funding settlements adequately protect the devolved governments from funding risks, or impede their policy responses?