Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber Chief: Returning to the health crisis of decades past will be ‘horrific’ for the city



In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the concept that Glasgow might return to a health crisis of the kind triggered by the economic problems of the 1980s and 1990s is “appalling,” a business leader has said.

Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, asserts the core message of the Scottish government that the economy can be revived, but life can not, means that companies do not care about the current health crisis.

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“In Scotland, I hear the argument, ‘We can always restore an economy.’ You can’t restore life.’ I find that a particularly irritating attitude from the Scottish government because it implies that the economy doesn’t care about the public health crisis.”In Scotland, I hear the argument, ‘We can always restore an economy.’ You can’t restore life.’ I find that the Scottish government’s particularly irritating attitude because it implies that the public health crisis doesn’t matter to the economy.

He emphasized that “what a chronic public health crisis means for a city like Glasgow.” is well known to him and others.

The “chronic public health crisis that grew out of an economic crisis in the 1980s and 1990s.” was cited by Mr. Patrick.

He said, “The idea that we have to go back to that is horrible. We still haven’t solved the public health crisis from the eighties and nineties.”

Patrick stressed that the Centre for Population Health “did a very good job of explaining the challenges of a long-term public health crisis.”

He discussed “endemic poverty and the disconnection of so many communities” from the economic engine of the city area of Glasgow, looking at the effects of the issues of the 1980s and 1990s.

Patrick highlighted the fact that young people have been the hardest hit by unemployment so far in the current recession, because there were no new work prospects in the wake of the pandemic.

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The big challenge,”The big challenge is youth unemployment.”is youth unemployment.

“We don’t want young talent coming out of educational institutions not being able to access the labor market for maybe two years and eventually ending up quite openly in the pool of unemployment and contributing to the challenges.”We don’t want young talent from educational institutions not to be able to access the labor market for maybe two years and eventually.

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He highlighted “the extent to which unemployment will be generational once the job creation scheme ends.” as a key problem on the unemployment front.

“That depends on how quickly the economy rebounds, and that depends on how quickly the vaccine is distributed.” Mr. Patrick added.

He also reflected on what he sees as a view of the UK in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The level of government that “a few sectors could be shaken up.” He referred to the problems facing the transport industry, including aviation, as well as bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and tourism firms, emphasizing that these challenges did not emerge as a result of shifting market forces, but as a result of government intervention to fight the pandemic.

Stressing the need for adequate support for these industries before they are able to return to normal trade, he said, “We know that large parts of the consumer economy will come back.”

Given Glasgow’s vast properties, Patrick expressed optimism for the future and stressed his confidence in the city’s ability to recover, taking a medium- to long-term view.

He pointed to the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic for the city’s retail sector and for Glasgow Airport, stressing the importance of working to ensure critical flight connectivity.

Mr. Patrick, however, stressed the strength of the skills base in Glasgow, which he claimed would continue to attract large employers.

He pointed to the strong role of the city in terms of the share of highly qualified people in the European context.

Patrick also pointed to the significant work of Glasgow University and the University of Glasgow.


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