Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ideas 61-70

Where possible we've tried to green today's ideas given it is the only climate day of the 2011 SP election campaign. It isn't an exhaustive list but it should wet your appetite for tonight's online debate (starts at 1930) orgainsed by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

61. The next Government should publish a green jobs strategy

The next Scottish Government should publish a green jobs strategy which feeds into a refreshed economic recovery plan

At a joint event with RSPB, Finance Secretary John Swinney announced in February 2009 that 16,000 green jobs would be created in a decade. We welcomed the announcement then, and still do, but we require more details on how a green new deal will be achieved.

The next Government must publish a green jobs strategy which feeds into the economic recovery plan, whoever is successful in the ballot box. The South Korean example is illustrative whereby the Government allocated 95% of its fiscal stimulus into environmental sectors.

62. All high school sports facilities to be open for community use.

63. Embed financial literacy classes in the school curriculum.

The importance of literacy and numeracy cannot be understated. They are the building blocks of a person’s educational development. But there’s another type of literacy (financial) we hear very little of even though it is arguably equally as important.

The great economic crash of 2008 brought home just how financially illiterate the majority of global consumers were. In America the public (often low income families) were being sold ever more complex financial products that they didn’t understand and the financial services preyed on this lack of knowledge.

The situation wasn’t as bad here but the continuing high levels of personal indebtedness clearly illustrates we have a problem. The Independent Commission on Banking may or may not affect the positive change we need in financial markets - that remains to be seen - but it is not in there remit to remedy the situation with consumers.

The solution is quite straightforward. We embed classes on financial literacy/personal economics in the high school curriculum which is paid for (if not all, then a large majority) by the banks.

Students would lean about different types of bank accounts, the importance of savings and the numerous ways one can save (ISAs etc), the dangers of easy money (re cheque centre etc), interest rates, inflation - you get the picture.

64. Introduce public sector loan schemes to drive capital deployment for energy efficiency, low carbon and renewable, while exploring other innovative financial instruments for the public sector to meet the capital challenge of a low carbon society.

With thanks to members of our energy and environment group for this idea. You know who you are.

65. MEPs should sit on the European parliamentary committee on a rotational basis.

Scotland has 6 MEPs but neither of them sit on the Scottish Parliament’s European & External Affairs Committee. It’s crazy.

Now obviously not all of them could serve on the committee together, nor could they considering its remit extends beyond European affairs.

But here’s an idea. Once a month an MEP (on a rotational basis) sits on the committee and (amongst many other things) pads out the Brussels Bulletin. In fact, the MEP could produce their own Brussels Bulletin.

The European Parliament has a massive impact on Holyrood; indeed, all of Scotland. We need to ensure that the relationship between these two chambers is much closer.

66. All high schools to have, or have ready access to, a proper theatre space.

67. Publicly record the names of irresponsible pubs/clubs who allow clientele to get 'smashed'.

68. 10% of the Scottish Govt's transport budget should be allocated (and ring fenced) to active travel

If the Scottish Government has any chance of hitting its cycling target (10% of all journeys by 2020) significant investment has to be made in Scotland’s sustainable transport infrastructure. At least 10% of the central government transport budget should be allocated (and ring-fenced) to active travel.

69. A programme of inter-establishment and cross sectral mergers in higher education.

Hear our policy director Ross Martin on today’s Call Kaye speaking about education reform.

70. Streamline representative groups and give them a statutory role.

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