Protestors will gather outside St Andrew’s House today (22/6/2020) to call for a coronavirus recovery which is fair and green.  The socially-distanced demonstration coincides with the publication of the report from the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Director Dr Richard Dixon said:

“Today marks a key moment in starting to rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic. As the report from the Economic Advisory Group is published, it is crucial that the Scottish Government listens to the voices of key workers, and the huge number of civil society groups, who are calling for people and planet to be placed at the heart of the recovery process.

“The Scottish Government must reject a simple return to business as usual or even worse, further austerity, which would create more poverty and pollution in the pursuit of profit. Instead, we need to see public investment in creating quality, sustainable jobs, introducing a more just tax system that redistributes wealth fairly, and strengthen and expand our vital public services. Only this kind of wide-ranging transformative recovery plan will deliver the kind of fairer, greener, future that we so desperately need.”

Elle, a cleaner in Edinburgh, who will be appearing at the demonstration said:

“We’ve seen a fantastic outpouring of public support for key workers, but now our voices must be heard. Too often, the challenges that we face have been overlooked by Governments responding to the interest of big business – but we can’t afford to let that happen again. We’re asking the Scottish Government to deliver a recovery that puts the interests of people and planet first.

“This pandemic has laid bare and exacerbated the inequalities that exist in society, and any recovery plan must focus on addressing these. That means prioritising adequate incomes for all over shareholder bailouts, it means strengthening workers rights as more people return to work, and guaranteeing that any programmes aimed at economic recovery also tackle inequality.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery will publish its report on Monday. The Chair of the Group, Benny Higgins, will appear at the First Minister’s lunchtime briefing to talk about the report. There will be a debate on the report in Parliament on Tuesday.

2. 82 civil society organisations, including Friends of the Earth, wrote to the First Minister calling for a radical response to the coronavirus recovery that puts people and planet before profit. Representatives of those groups are meeting the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture today (22/6/20).

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.