Report: Social justice and Scottish independence

A report examined issues of social justice in the context of the debates around Scottish independence and today’s referendum.

The report drew together arguments regarding: a post-independence Scottish currency; economic development; the empowerment and security of wealth producers; fiscal powers to redistribute income; public services; and issues of democracy, human rights, and equalities.

It concluded that key parties to the referendum debates had not been willing to challenge consistently the orthodoxies that had created the prevailing conditions of inequality, and offered critiques of the independence debates.

Speaking on the launch of report, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said: “This report concludes a two year process in which STUC has consulted with members, debated within civil society and engaged with both campaigns and governments across the whole range of policy areas covered by the debate.

“We have spent much of the last two years urging both sides of the debate to recognise and to bring forward arguments to address the fundamental inequalities of wealth and income in society. We have been successful to a degree. But this report concludes that neither of the mainstream referendum campaign groups, nor the respective governments, has been willing to consistently challenge the orthodoxies which have led to the prevailing conditions.

“We have not concluded that an unequivocal case for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be made but we have some strong criticisms of different aspects of both cases.

“The 19th of September will be a day to look forwards rather than backwards, we have already organised our first major conference (15th October) and a march and rally (18th October) which will allow our members and Scotland’s communities to come together, irrespective of the result and to reaffirm our commitment to achieving social and economic change.”

A Just Scotland