Date: 14 Mar 2006
UNISON welcomes Parliament's recognition public spending¹s importance
UNISON Scotland's public service union today welcomed the
report by the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Culture Committee
that urges more public expenditure to encourage business growth
and the economy.
The Committee's findings back up research carried out for the union
earlier this year which challenged public business assumptions that
public expenditure somehow 'crowded out' business investment.
Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "UNISON has long
been clear that the public sector is an important driver of the
Scottish economy, rather than the drain that the CBI and the Chair
of Scottish Enterprise have claimed. We welcome this report that
recognises the importance of public spending in providing physical
infrastructure, education and training and research and development,
and confirms the research we published in January. All of these
are essential to growing our economy, and are often neglected by
private business itself."
The union's research on this topic was carried out by Dr Andy Cumbers,
and Kean Birch of the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR)
a joint research initiative of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.
It found that public sector investment in research and development
has been critical in delivering important economic growth in new
areas eg IT and telecommunications (Finland) and biotechnology
It also provides physical and training infrastructure that assists
the private sector in developing.
Matt Smith said "The public sector provides roads, healthcare,
education and training, a legal framework and much needed research
and development. It also spends money in the private sector through
procurement and via its workforce. We assume that business commentators
will now welcome this call for an increase in public expenditure,
and demand that the private sector also increases its investment
in R&D and training."
Note for Editors:- the UNISON report Adding Value, Public sector
spending and Scotland's economic development is available on the
UNISONScotland website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/addingvalue.html
The Scottish Parliament Enterprise and Culture Committee report
is on the web at www.scottish.parliament.uk/nmCentre/news/news-comm-06/cent06-001.htm
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish
Secretary) 07771 548 997 (m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser Policy)
07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558