Economics and Tax

Investing in recycling and composting could create up to 10 times as many jobs as current landfill and incineration schemes. In New York it was found that processing 1 million tonnes of waste could sustain:

  • Recycling 400 - 590 jobs

  • Incineration 100 - 290 jobs

  • Composting 200 - 300 jobs

  • Landfill 40 - 60 jobs

67% of total Scottish private employment is in small and medium sized enterprises (firms employing less than 250 people).

The Scottish Green Party believes that a sustainable, green job-creation strategy needs to be at the heart of economic policy. This would build on Scotland’s proud tradition of innovation in industry. Green MSP Robin Harper introduced the first debate on the creation of a green job strategy in 2002, which was welcomed by all political parties. Economic decisions are not just financial decisions: regulation and taxation of companies must reflect social and environmental impacts in full. A green taxation system would generate more income from taxing harmful activities, such as pollution and over-use of resources, rather than increasing overall taxes on income. It would recognise the fundamental role that land plays in our economic system. Robin Harper MSP also introduced a debate on Land Value Taxation (LVT) in 2003, gaining the support of Parliament to investigate LVT further.

Greens champion locally-owned business and support giving grants to community-based enterprise rather than multinational companies. We also want to encourage environmentally, socially and financially sustainable Scottish companies that address their responsibilities to their employees and local communities. This could be achieved through initiatives such as Corporate Social Responsibility schemes and Good Neighbour Agreements.

Greens recognise that the Euro is the common currency for many businesses in Scotland. However, we oppose the adoption of the Euro as the single and sole currency for internal use by the citizens of this country. Joining the Euro would lock Scotland into a common monetary policy that puts low rates of inflation before protecting jobs and public services. Greens believe that currencies and monetary policy must be controlled by democratically elected governments rather than unelected central bankers.

Green MSPs will work for the following:

  • We will develop and implement a green jobs-creation strategy supported by a revised remit for the enterprise networks.

  • We will introduce a Green Taxation strategy including a graduated increase in fuel tax to reflect the real cost of transporting goods. We will increase carbon taxes to ensure the polluter pays the actual cost of production, distribution and consumption. We will replace Council Tax and Uniform Business Rates with Land Value Tax, which more accurately reflects the range of activities possible on a site and provides a fairer basis for payment.

  • We will return national utilities to public control at the most local level possible. We will phase out Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs). The environmental, social and ethical performance of companies undertaking public service contracts will be given the same weighting as cost in the tendering process. Local authority funding will be updated to include measures of environmental and social justice in all services.

  • We will work towards the creation of an Ethical Trade Commission to regulate a scheme of accreditation recognising fairly traded products on sale in Scottish shops. Those which can demonstrate ethical practices in both their investment and the treatment of staff in other countries should receive tax credits for both new and existing schemes which encourage fair trade.

  • We will ensure that economic policies are grounded in democratic control and the interests of communities by promoting smallscale community-based or worker-owned enterprises as building blocks of local economies. We will launch a new comprehensive, co-ordinated support infrastructure, including appropriate business advice services, for Scottish social enterprises such as co-operatives, community businesses, employee-owned schemes, community trusts, credit unions, social firms, the trading arms of charities, and local exchange trading systems (LETS).

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Scottish Green Party, PO Box 14080, Edinburgh EH10 6YG
Tel / Fax: 0131 478 7896
e-mail: info@scottishgreens.org.uk