A Labour government at Westminster would “buy, make and sell more in Scotland”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said ahead of her first visit north of the border since taking up the role.
An economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic should also focus on awarding more public contracts to British businesses, Reeves added.
Labour has set out plans to use social and environmental clauses in public contracts to raise standards, similar to the approach of countries such as France and the United States.
The party would also call for every public body to award more contracts to British firms, and require public bodies to report on how much they are buying from businesses in this country.
Labour’s analysis of public contracts awarded by the Scottish Government suggests just £103m (8%) of £1.2bn is given to small or medium Scottish businesses.
The Scottish Labour Party has previously argued for local businesses to be prioritised when awarding government contracts, as well as requiring commitments that firms receiving public money should pay the Scottish Living Wage, recognise trade unions and not use zero-hour contracts.
Before her trip to a manufacturing site in Renfrewshire alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Reeves said: “As we recover from the pandemic, we have a chance to seize new opportunities and shape a new future for Scotland and the rest of Britain.
“For too long, the people of Scotland have not had a government fighting to deliver jobs and growth in the country.
“121,000 Scots are unemployed, thousands of jobs in renewable energy have been lost and the country’s manufacturing base has been hollowed out.
“Only Labour will get our economy firing on all cylinders by giving people new skills for the jobs of the future here in Scotland, bringing security and resilience back to our economy and public services, and helping our high streets thrive again.
“That starts with our plan to buy, make and sell more in Scotland and the rest of Britain.
“From green jobs in manufacturing electric vehicles and offshore wind turbines, to fin tech, digital media and film – we must grow modern industries to build a long-term economy that provides good jobs and is built for the future.”
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