This will be first of four blogs over the next few days articulating what I believe to be the main issues facing the EU at the elections next year, and where I believe I can play a part as an SNP MEP.
It truly is time to end austerity, why? It has failed. It has failed to reduce debt, as debt is rising; it has reduced living standards across the continent causing economies to remain stagnant, and has failed to deal with tax avoidance and evasion. Common sense alone dictates that repeat doses of harsh medicine that obviously isn’t working is certain to maintain the economic malaise afflicting Europe rather than affect a steady recovery.
As STUC research has shown in Scotland 70p in every £ of public money ends up in the private sector economy, I see no difference in that happening elsewhere.
To grow the economy we need investment. We need the EU to spend in infrastructure across Europe, providing incentives to those receiving that investment to provide jobs, skills and training to young people aged between 16 and 25 years of age. Youth Unemployment is a scourge in our society which needs to be dealt with. The Scottish Government rightly invests in Modern Apprenticeships and Europe must use this example. Youth Unemployment in some parts of Europe is over 50%. We can provide further opportunities here and abroad to tackle youth unemployment, and provide the infrastructure required to grow the economy.
With Balls and Miliband’s recent U-turns by suggesting austerity will continue, it is left to the Scottish National Party to fight to end austerity measures – and surely now only Independence can now deliver the real opportunity to deliver a better way and a better society.
Austerity is merely an excuse to drive down living standards and wages, to reduce the states capacity to affect real positive changes to our economies, and to drive us at the mercy of market driven choices.
It hasn’t worked – it’s time for a better way.