Leonard: ‘Green New Deal’ could create 130,000 jobs

Scottish Labour leader to outline how he believes the country could recover from pandemic in a sustainable way.

More than 130,000 jobs could be created under “bold plans” to transform the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will claim.

Leonard will outline how he believes a “Green New Deal” could help the country “recover in a sustainable, responsible and ambitious way”.

In a speech to be delivered online, he will argue that different sectors and sections of society need to come together “to create a greener better future for us all”.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Labour leader commissioned the economist Laurie Macfarlane to develop plans.

Labour wants to see thousands of new energy efficient homes built across the country, while existing properties could also be upgraded to help them become more energy efficient.

The party is also urging a “huge investment” in transport infrastructure, alongside economic intervention from the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Leonard will say that as Scotland recovers from coronavirus it has “an opportunity to recover in a sustainable, responsible and ambitious way”.

He will state: “Housing, energy, infrastructure, environmental restoration, and transport, our bold plans would create in total up to 131,000 new jobs.

“Scotland faces a major economic and unemployment crisis. Creating quality, well-paid jobs for good will be crucial not just to our recovery but to equipping our workforce – especially young workers – with the skills and opportunities they will need throughout their working lives.”

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