I was heartened when I heard of the appointment of Danny Alexander MP as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
I met Danny when he attended last year’s Church and Society annual lecture in Aviemore – which was on the causes of the credit crunch. He’s going to have to play a key role in negotiations about budget allocations, public sector pay, welfare reform, and procurement policy over the coming years.
The Aviemore meeting was a seminal conference where the views of the Council concerning ethical investments began to take shape. Almost a year after later, we’ve launched a special Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity to explore ethical and moral questions related to economics, wealth and happiness.
I hope that the Kirk’s voice will be heard when decisions are being made about tax and spending priorities. The Economics Commission will help inform our position.
We are part of a tradition that has helped shape social and economic changes in Scotland and in the UK. For instance, in 1940, the Kirk launched a Commission led by Edinburgh theology professor John Baillie, whose report was credited with helping to shape crucial social changes after the Second World War, including the welfare state, the NHS and expanded educational opportunities.
Our current work – such as supporting the Poverty Truth Commission and through the development our new Economics Commission – means we can contribute to a sustainable economic future.