Kirk backs call for national debate on a 'just and green recovery' from COVID-19
Published on 1 June 2020
As Scotland begins to recover from the devastating impact of coronavirus, the Church of Scotland has joined calls to seek to transform society for the better.
A letter to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, calling for a just and green recovery has been signed by representatives from more than 70 organisations, including the Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum.
“At a time of crisis the urgent and immediate response to human need has to take priority. As we move beyond the peak of infections and begin to see lockdown restrictions easing, it is now the time to imagine what our future might be like,” Dr Brown said.
“I’m proud today to be part of a wider faith and civil society movement urging our leaders to prioritise issues of justice, equality and care for creation. Throughout history, massive upheavals have led to societies taking momentous decisions. Following the Second World War, for example, the Government established the welfare state and the NHS to aid national recovery.
“Right now we need to listen widely to people’s vision for Scottish society following on from this crisis – a matter too important to be left only to politicians.
“Let’s hear voices from civil society: from theologians, philosophers, poets and artists, and most importantly, from people who have direct and lived experience of struggling against poverty, violence and injustice.”
The five calls
The five calls outlined in the letter include:
- Provide essential public services for the people of Scotland, not for profit.
- Protect marginalised people and those on low incomes by redistributing wealth. Provide adequate incomes for all instead of bailouts for shareholders.
- Provide new funds to transform our society and economy to meet Scotland's Fair Share of climate emissions cuts and greatly enhance biodiversity.
- Strengthen democracy and human rights during these crises.
- Supporting an international coronavirus and climate emergency response.