A leading survey of business confidence in Scotland today predicted a prolonged period of economic stagnation with a consequent deterioration in the living standards of many families.
Lloyds TSB Scotland Business Monitor reported that almost 40% of Scottish firms expect to see their turnover fall significantly in the year ahead. This finding ties in with several others suggesting the gloom enveloping the retail trade will spread to many other sectors.
Many analysts are predicting more well known High Street names will follow Comet into receivership as the recession continues to hit consumer spending. Since this is the time of year when retailers decide whether or not to sign the lease on their shops for another year many are reluctant to endure another 12 months like the last.
The outlook for employment and wages looks bleak and not just for the retail sector because many other sectors of the economy are similarly affected and there is likely to be a further fall in the living standards of hundreds of thousands of Scots families.
When you add in the impact of Government spending cuts you can see why few analysts expect an improvement in the economy in the foreseeable future.
Levels of indebtedness and insolvency are on a steep incline and they are hardly likely to fall in January with the arrival of unwelcome gas and electricity bills, traditionally the highest of the year. These will add further anxiety to millions of households.
There are already 40% of Scots living in fuel poverty as it is according to figures released by Energy Action Scotland and I fully expect the political crisis in this area to worsen markedly in the year ahead as millions suffer and Government indifference at Westminster and Holyrood is now manifestly clear.
So my message to people across Scotland is clear either you fight back or you will go under. That’s the choice now facing millions of working class people in Scotland.
The first thing I say to people who are fearful of what 2013 may bring is that you are not alone. The second that you must appreciate the situation you find yourself in is not your fault. It is a systemic failure and millions of people like you are victims of an economic collapse they had no part in causing.
If you are worried about your gas and electricity bill and want to fight back against fuel poverty, get in touch with the SSP.
If you cannot make ends meet because you are ‘under-employed’ – just like millions of others who want a full time permanent job and must settle for a part time casual post – get in touch with the SSP.
If you are worried about the latest Government attack on your benefits or pension, get in touch with the SSP.
The Scottish Socialist Party is on your side. If you get into difficulty, get in touch with us at ;