April Cumming

A fair society is a more equitable society, where taxation is not seen as a burden but more as part of the social contract that creates a more balanced system. To create a fair society governments must look beyond their five year terms and the necessity to be re-elected. The fundamental flaw in creating a fairer society thus far is that much of policy is made as a reaction to, rather than as a precursor to, public opinion. Tax is a hard sell. But the need to rebalance the economy to protect the vulnerable and refocus on the responsibilities of the powerful and rich is an absolute necessity. This does not mean driving away big business. A fair economy underpins a fair society and the foundation of such a system must be built on legislation that favour ethical, employee-centred, and responsible business. A fair society needs a fair economy that looks beyond GDP as an ultimate bottom line and takes into account the net benefit on communities of a particular type of investor. In short, a fair society needs big international conglomerates to embrace more of a social enterprise ethos, bringing up those at the bottom and incentivising those at the top. Absolute wealth redistribution is not possible, but a shift towards the centre is, if the political will is there.

April Cumming, Holyrood researcher, Vice Chair Scottish Fabians