Annex 10: Summary of issues to recall from Covid-19

Summary of issues

In weekend 5, members discussed issues that they felt were important to recall about the Covid-19 pandemic as they began to consider the final outputs of the Assembly. Themes arising from their discussions are outlined below.

Ensuring a more equal and socially responsible country
A need for equality and for social responsibility towards others

Supporting education and training for all young people
The importance of equal access to education and for training and apprenticeships to support employment opportunities for all young people

Prioritising health and wellbeing
The central importance of investing in and reforming NHS and social care and using public health powers wisely and robustly to ensure compliance with emergency measures

Responding to mental health impacts
Social isolation and wider mental health issues, including among children, have been exacerbated by the crisis, and should be a priority in terms of services and support

Building more resilience into planning
Need to consider better, careful resilience planning based on the lessons for the economy and other areas of life, with a need to learn lessons from care homes example

Measures to support recovery
Importance of helping businesses to get back up and running and a need to consider how employees can continue to work flexibility without being restricted to home

Focussing on a sustainable economic recovery
Changing the economy, taking the opportunity to do things differently, learning the lessons from recent austerity and prioritising tackling inequalities, incentivising green recovery whilst recognising difficult trade-offs

Delivering fair work and pay and valuing key workers
Employment opportunities for all through fairer work. Protecting those on the lowest incomes through improving minimum living wage and introduction of a universal basic income. Valuing and better rewarding health care workers.

Recognising the challenges for public finances
The cost of Covid-19 and the impact of that on public finances. How does that affect achieving the Assembly’s vision – what can we afford and what should we prioritise?

Establishing a fairer tax system
A simplified and fairer tax system fairer, closing loopholes and incentivising positive behaviours by businesses and citizens

Tackling the climate crisis
Climate change still a high priority and risk of further pandemics as environment changes. Priority of investing in green businesses and energy sources

Improving decision-making through citizens involvement
Learning the lessons of community and citizen involvement and building on that to do policy differently and embed participation into decision-making, including through Citizens’ Assemblies

Strengthening devolution and improving working between Governments
Scope for more powers to be devolved to respond directly to Scottish circumstances and for governments to co-operate more effectively on developing rules