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The chapters in this book have focused on policies to fulfil the declared ambition of the Scottish Government to achieve a wealthier and fairer nation. The aim is unexceptionable and supported by all parties, but notoriously difficult to achieve in practice. In line with international thinking, the Scottish Government has argued for a social investment approach and for preventive spending in order to secure the long-term future, drawing particularly on the experience of the Nordic states but also of other countries that appear to combine economic performance with social inclusion. Yet defining these concepts and putting them into practice is not easy. Long-term ambitions must compete with short-term pressures on spending. The needs of future generations must be set against those of the present. Investment in physical and human capital may not provide the immediate, tangible benefits that come from current spending. While social investment may address economic and social problems at the same time by expanding opportunities and bringing people into the well-paid part of the labour force, it does not in itself resolve the big issues of inequality. There is still a role to be played by redistribution, which implies winners and losers among individuals and groups. It is also inescapable that to achieve Nordic levels of public spending it is necessary to pay Nordic levels of taxation, which are higher than those currently prevailing in the UK.
In this chapter, we ask whether the support base for such a strategy exists. First, we examine public opinion in Scotland and compare it with that in the UK as a whole. We find that there is support for universal public services but that a broader sense of solidarity has fallen over recent decades. Scotland is only slightly more egalitarian than the rest of the UK. Then we consider how support for social inclusion and equality might be built, drawing on experience elsewhere. Finally, we examine the institutions and competences that Scotland has following the three devolution acts of 1998, 2012 and 2016.
In 2014, Scotland voted against independence but, following a pledge by the unionist parties, it then received additional powers over taxation and welfare. Added to existing powers devolved in 1999 and 2012, the Scotland Act (2016) endowed Scotland with the competences, potentially, to fulfil its ambition to create a wealthier and fairer nation. This book examines how this might be possible in practice. It will be of interest not only to students of Scotland but to all concerned with the potential of small nations and regions to master their own fates in a complex, multilevel world.
The book is the product of an interdisciplinary project in the Centre on Constitutional Change, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council grant, ES/L003325/1. The first book from this project (Keating 2017) examined the issues in the referendum debate, including institutions, economics, welfare and taxation and spending. This book looks to the future, returning to some of the same issues and asking how they might be resolved. Scotland's future constitutional status remains, at the time of writing, unresolved. The implications of UK withdrawal from the EU are unclear. As the chapters in this book show, the 2016 settlement, the result of a political compromise rather than a measured analysis of policy requirements, may not provide an optimal outcome. Whatever the political future, however, the question of how to reconcile economic growth with social justice and cohesion will remain.
The Scottish independence referendum of 2014 was a momentous event, which engaged the political class and the general public like few political events before it. The question on the ballot paper was, in appearance, a simple one with a straightforward answer, whether Scotland should be an independent country. A second question, on more devolution or a radical rearrangement of Scotland's relationship with the UK, was explicitly ruled out. Yet in practice, the two sides showed a degree of convergence on precisely this middle ground. One reason was that, as our research showed, public opinion was strongly clustered there (Liñeira, Henderson and Delaney 2017). Another was that, in the modern world, nations are interdependent and old ideas about sovereignty hide the limitations in the freedom of action of all but the most powerful states. So the debate moved quickly from dry constitutional issues to economic and social policy and how Scotland could achieve better outcomes, either in or out of the Union; it is this that accounts for the reach of the debate into civil society. Another feature of the Scottish debate was that it mostly did not pit different visions of future society against each other but rehearsed ways of achieving much the same goals. The two main parties in Scotland, while divided on constitutional matters, shared the same broadly social democratic ideology, while the Conservatives stayed in the political centre. Only a minority of voices called for a market-liberal model of state in which taxes would be cut and the scope of the public sector radically curtailed. So what the debate hinged on was whether large or small states are economically more efficient or whether social justice was better conceptualised and achieved at a UK or a Scottish scale. These issues are covered in another of our books, Debating Scotland (Keating 2017).
The referendum was followed by the Smith Commission. This was an all-party body set up to meet a pledge (the ‘vow’) made by the unionist parties in the last stage of the campaign to give Scotland more devolved powers but building on earlier work by the parties themselves.
The ambition of the Scottish Government is to create a wealthier and fairer nation. Following the devolution acts of 1998, 2012 and 2016, it has extensive powers and resources to fulfill its ambition. This interdisciplinary collection of essays asks how it can be achieved, given the range of powers available, economic constraints, institutions and public support. Looking at economic policy, taxation and welfare, it provides a realistic analysis of the opportunities and constraints facing a small, devolved nation. After years of debate on what powers Scotland should have, this book examines how they might be used to shape the country's future.
This survey of the American Society of Transplantation Infectious Disease Community of Practice demonstrates variations in clinical practices among hematopoietic stem cell transplant centers on selected infection prevention and control practices. Our findings highlight a need and emphasize an opportunity to optimize patient care through standardization of practices in this vulnerable population.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):348–351
The range and volume of local manufactures increased over time, but, in the 19th century, the natural resource sectors were the prime drivers of Australia's economic performance. This chapter explores the growth in employment, value of production and labour productivity of different industries. Nineteenth-century development laid a substantial foundation for industrialisation, manufacturing's share of GDP stood at around 12 per cent in 1901. The direction of technological change, until the 1970s, favoured high-volume production of standardised machinery, in particular, the capital-intensive mass production of standardised components to narrow tolerances, which also provided economies at the assembly stage. Consumer spending on durables began to increase in the 1920s with the introduction of more mass-produced and affordable items, beginning with the motor vehicle and household electrical goods, such as jugs, toasters and radios. Industrialisation added a range of new, technically sophisticated industries, including consumer goods, producer goods and intermediate materials, to the industrial base established by Federation.
An independent Scotland would be a small European state. Small states may be at a disadvantage in world markets but can also adapt successfully. There are different modes of adaptation, notably the market-liberal mode and the social investment state. Either mode is dependent on internal institutions, social relationships and modes of policymaking. It is not possible to pick and choose items of different models since they have an internal coherence. The Scottish White Paper on independence supports the social investment state. Scotland has some, but not all, of the prerequisites for this so that independence would require internal adaptation.