Scottish Socialist Party Press Release
Scottish Socialist Party national spokesman Colin Fox will accuse the Government of 'grievously underestimating' the impact of the worsening economic crisis on the Lothians. He will tell a public meeting in Dalkeith tomorrow night [Wed 11th March] that Alastair Darling and Gordon Brown have been 'miserably wide of the mark on all their economic pronouncements'. Sharing the platform with him at the Dalkeith Arts Centre will be Mr Raphie de Santos, a former financial strategist with Goldman Sachs.
'Gordon Brown famously predicted there would be 'no return to boom and bust' said Mr Fox, adding 'This time last year Alastair Darling was insisting 'there would be no recession in Britain' despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Rather than accepting they were badly mistaken, both men continued to forecast that 'Britain would be largely unaffected by the global downturn'. The International Monetary Fund [IMF] now believes Britain will suffer a deeper recession than any other industrialised nation.
Mr Brown and Mr Darling have grievously underestimated the depth of this economic crisis they have gotten us into. Their miserable economic pronouncements have been well wide of the mark for two years now. 'The Royal Bank of Scotland suggests that 20,000 jobs will have to go as part of its rescue package of which 10,000 are likely to be in the Lothians. Lloyds TSB intends to 'rationalise' Bank of Scotland branches throughout the country and close down its Scottish Widow's fund management organisation, SWIP, merging its business into its London operation, 'Insight'. That could mean another 5,000 jobs go here in the Lothians which will in turn further depress the local economy.
Mr Fox believes 'The Government should put money into protecting jobs and services, into increasing the national minimum wage, providing every child with a full time nursery place, building 100,000 Council houses and raising the state pension to 2/3rds of the average wage. These types of measures would improve the economy and assist those suffering most from this recession.'
Mr de Santos agrees 'All the financial and economic indicators show that Britain is now in the midst of the longest lasting and deepest recession since the 1930's. The Government have been way off the mark in every economic estimate it has made these past 18months. It is clear that capitalism is now in a severe worldwide crisis. Tens of millions of jobs have been lost already and we have not yet reached the bottom. I expect unemployment, bankruptcies and house repossessions to soar throughout this year. The Lothians will be particularly badly affected. Job losses, in the financial sector, will make a bad situation worse here.'