Scotland needs to develop a radically new industrial strategy that moves away from relying on inward investment to stimulating more manufacturing close to the market, a leading think tank has suggested.
A new report by the Scotland Institute has warned that technological advances such as driverless cars, robotics and 3D printing will reduce employment and wages.
To counter this, the report, Developing a Post-Brexit Industrial Strategy for Scotland, recommends that wages should stop being seen as a cost of production and more as a means by which the rewards of work are shared.
It also calls for public finance to take more account of taxing assets and rents as well as taking up the challenge of ensuring people earn enough to survive as earned income falls. Corporate taxation, the report argues, needs to focus more on turnover rather than profits.
Dr Azeem Ibrahim, the Scotland Institute Executive chair, said: “The relationship between activity and work is shifting in three related areas – information production and consumption, transportation and manufacture. The dynamics are slightly different in each case but the common theme is the cost of carrying out the activity and the way it demands human labour is changing.
“We need to think about how to manage the available work, how to spread the rewards and how the Scottish economy can adapt in a manner that benefits the entire population.”