Scottish public overwhelmingly in favour of a globally responsible Scotland

Scottish public overwhelmingly in favour of a globally responsible Scotland

The vast majority of the Scottish public say the Scottish Government should take into account the global effects of all of its policy decisions, according to new polling commissioned by Scotland’s International Development Alliance.

Respondents also voiced very strong support for the Scottish Government taking an active global role by working towards peace, equality and sustainability.

The polling was released just days after the UK announced plans to cut their percentage spend on ODA (Official Development Assistance) from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI, with a likely real- terms cut of over £4 Billion to the UK aid budget, and suggests continued public support for Scotland to act as a responsible global citizen.

The YouGov poll of over 1,000 people in Scotland was conducted at the end of November and reveals that:

  • Nearly three in four adults (73%) think it is important that the Scottish Government ensure the global effects of policy decisions made in Scotland are taken into account;
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) of people place importance on the Scottish Government taking an active role in working towards peace, equality and sustainability globally.

The findings support the Alliance’s call for all of Scotland’s political parties to demonstrate global solidarity ahead of next year’s 2021 Holyrood election.

The Alliance, which includes more than 200 members across the international development sector in Scotland, is calling for the next Scottish Parliament to introduce a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill. This Bill would require all public bodies to set objectives towards sustainable development outcomes while ensuring that they impact positively on people and the environment here in Scotland and in low-income countries.

Lewis Ryder-Jones Deputy CEO at the Alliance said:

“The world’s poorest people face the twin challenges of the pandemic and the climate crisis, with warnings of a new tidal wave of poverty and suffering.

“While many people are facing a tough time here in Scotland, people across the country have been clear that they do not want the Scottish Government to turn its back on the most vulnerable people overseas.

“Our political leaders must do everything in their power to ensure that Scotland is a globally responsible nation, which stands alongside the world’s poorest and most marginalised people during their hour of greatest need.

“While financial support remains a critical tool in tackling global poverty and suffering, we know that everything we do in – and from – Scotland can impact on those in poverty and the planet. It is therefore critical that global factors are taken into account across the full spectrum of decision-making here in Scotland.

“We hope this polling encourages all political parties to support our calls for a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill. Tackling global poverty and inequality and standing in solidarity with the most marginalised and vulnerable people must be at the heart of everything we do, not just our external relations.

“This Bill would be a critical step towards delivering the outward facing, compassionate country we want to live in.”

 Our 2021 Scottish Election Manifesto Recommendations

The new Alliance report ‘Scotland for a Fairer World: 2021-26 Policy Priorities for the Scottish Parliament’ calls for political parties to commit to action across five keys areas ahead of next year’s 2021 Scottish Election, setting out a number of asks related to the economy, governance, education, climate and international development funding.

The report argues for a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill during the next Parliament that makes all public bodies set objectives towards sustainable development outcomes, ensuring that they impact positively on people and the environment here in Scotland and in low-income countries.

Other asks include increasing commitments to international development funding and climate justice, upping our game on fair trade, renewing our commitment to global citizenship education, and ensuring our Parliament embeds a sustainable development lens into everything it does.