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3rd September 2014
A coalition of Scottish civic organisations is hosting a major conference and debate about how we build a better economy that works for both people and the planet. It will take place on 10-11 September, Glasgow University
“People are fed up with poverty, unemployment and the growing inequality in a wealthy country such as Scotland. People are alarmed at the way economic forces are driving climate change and environmental destruction” said conference organiser Matthew Crighton, of Friends of the Earth Scotland.
He continued “Yet the mainstream voices on both sides of the debate about the future of Scotland are limiting their aspiration to some minor tweaking of the discredited ways in which our economic policies and financial system have been allowed to function.”
Dave Watson of UNISON Scotland said “We’re a rich country with a growing economy but working people have experienced greater poverty and worsening conditions, as seen in the rise of zero-hours contracts, while public services are reduced. Trade union members are keenly aware of these contradictions and we’ll welcome imaginative ideas about how to channel the economy in a different direction”
The ground-breaking public discussion and conference will aim to widen the debate about the economic future of Scotland by presenting ideas which can bring greater equality, meaningful work and promote wellbeing whilst respecting our environmental limits.
Among the expert speakers responding to questions posed by social justice, environmental and trade union organisations will be Ann Pettifor (formerly of Jubilee 2000), Richard Murphy (Tax Justice Network), Tim Jenkins (New Economics Foundation), and Professors Richard Werner, Malcolm Sawyer, Molly Scott-Cato MEP, Robert McMaster, Jo Armstrong, Andrew Cumbers and David Bell. It will be chaired by Anatole Kaletsky, former Economics Editor of The Times.
Alys Mumford of Jubilee Scotland added “Along with other NGOs we recognise that the economy is at the heart of most of our work. Without radically reshaping it, we cannot hope to solve the huge problems we campaign on – from global debt and tax, to welfare issues here in Scotland, we all need to work together to reinvent our economy, and these events are a really exciting place to start.”
Matthew Crighton concluded: “This is a time for bold thinking about the future of our economy so our partnership of civic organisations has brought together a group of economists who can both pinpoint the critical flaws in the current system and present radical but entirely practical alternatives.”
Notes to editors:
1. The full-day conference on Thursday 11 September will be preceded by a public debate at the Glasgow University Union (7:30pm on 10 September) at which Ann Pettifor, Richard Murphy, Jo Armstrong of CPPR in Glasgow and Professor Richard Werner will tackle questions including:
• Can we reverse the trend towards deepening inequalities?
• How do we ensure investment goes where we need it to create jobs, tackle climate change and transform our public infrastructure?
• How can we extend control over our economy and the financial sector?
Full programme at http://reinventoureconomy.uk
2. The events are being organised jointly by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Jubilee Scotland, the Adam Smith Business School, Oxfam, UNISON, Christian Aid, STUC, World Development Movement, GMB and the New Economics Foundation
3. This event is open to the public so please register to ensure a place. If members of the press wish to speakers or organisers in advance of the event please contact Matthew Crighton.