The Scottish Economy Essay Sample
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- Category: Business & Economy
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The Scottish Economy Essay Sample
Government operated businesses and privately-owned businesses allow Scotland to trade under a mixed economy. A mixed economy enables the country to be cooperatively operated by the rules of supply and demand while the Government control certain areas of the economy such as public services including health care, education and public transport. The Government in Scotland will intervene in the market to sustain economic growth. In 2015 the amount of APR allowed to be charged by payday loan companies was capped to allow struggling borrowers to pay without further charges and put a stop to spiralling payday loan debts.
Most recently the Government have published a draft legislation for tax on sugary drinks to begin in April 2018. Ministers hope it will help tackle the nation’s obesity problem and relieve current pressure on the NHS. The Governments motive is social welfare. In October 2014 the Scottish Government introduced charges for single use carrier bags attempting to help the environment and tackle litter problems. The Government set a price of five pence per bag and in the first-year major food retailers indicated that there has been an 80% reduction in bag use.
Many companies have chosen to donate their bag charge proceeds to support different local community charities including Clean Up Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood. Unemployment is defined as a situation where someone of working age is not able to get a job despite looking for one. The claimant count is one way the government measures unemployment although voluntary unemployed people or anyone who is unemployed but not eligible to claim benefits would not be considered in the results.
Another and often considered more reliable method of calculating unemployment is the labour force survey which is sent out to over 40,000 households in the UK and then The Office for National Statistics (ONS) release an estimate of the total unemployed. As of January 24th, 2018, data released from the ONS showed that unemployment in Scotland fell by 1000 in autumn and the current Scottish unemployment rate is 4%. Stuart McIntyre, from The Fraser of Allander economic institute said, “Scotland’s unemployed rate is around its record low rate, and the employment rate is similarly around its record high”.
The job market in recent years has underwent huge changes. The internet is hastily becoming the preferred method of choice for shopping instead of high street stores therefore retailers started to close stores and in turn created more unemployment. The 2008 financial crisis also affected the unemployment rate in Scotland with jobs lost within the financial and other sectors. As people lost their confidence the demand to buy goods fell and firms started producing less therefore leading to job losses.
Over the years despite a growing economy in Scotland and the rest of the UK after the closure of coal mines and heavy industries, many former manual labour workers found it difficult to find jobs as they didn’t have the skills to compete with the fast-changing economy and new high-tech industries.
We measure growth within the UK using the GDP, it is a way of working out how well the economy of a country is doing. The latest data shows that over the third quarter for 2017 the GDP in Scotland increased by 0.3% and the UK as a whole increased by 1. 9%. We all play a part by spending money, making money and producing things. Within the UK these are all contributions that made up the GDP. It is measured quarterly each year and if the measure goes up in the previous three months it means the economy is growing, but if it was negative then the economy would be contracting. If there are two periods of contraction after each other it would mean the economy is in a recession.
In Scotland and the UK, we have our own publicly funded healthcare system, rather than each patient paying for any treatment they require when they are unwell. The National Health Service was opened in 1948 by the minister of health to give all UK residents the right to access health services offered by dentists, midwives, nurses and doctors without having to pay, except for some specific NHS services. Currently England charges some people for prescriptions, whereas Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not charge as the costs are budgeted for by the Government.
Dental treatment and eye tests provided by the NHS are usually priced lower than the equivalent service from a private provider but are free to vulnerable or low-income patients. Within the main body of NHS Scotland, it has been split into 14 regional health boards, each responsible for the health care and wellbeing of the people within that specific area. 7 specialist boards also make up part of NHS Scotland to offer support to the regional boards by providing specialist services.
The Scottish Ambulance Service is an example of a specialist service provided within the NHS, responding to nearly 600,000 accidents and taking 1. 6 million people to and from hospital each year. The NHS currently employs around 1. 7 million people within the UK, of which 53. 8% are directly relied on to look after the health of the public and is currently the 5th biggest employer in the world. This figure is not only a major employer in terms of medical professionals but also in terms of administration staff.