Since I last wrote for the Clydebank Post in December, it feels as though the world has turned upside down.

Every expectation has been defied. The very fabric of our society: how we interact and engage with one another has changed so fundamentally. No-one would have imagined, back in December, that we would now have spent more than 120 days in some form of lockdown.

And yet, the public health crisis has exposed the weaknesses and inadequacies of our economy and the structure of our society. When first asked to stay at home, it exposed the fundamental inequality that continues to hold us back.

Those who occupy senior positions, who tend to earn more and have some savings to rely on, are those people who were able to work from home and feel the least financial impact from Covid-19.

The people without whom we would not have survived, however, weren’t able to enjoy that privilege: the shop workers, cleaners, carers, nurses and so many others.

And it is these groups of people who are at risk of losing out as we build back.

We’ve seen it over and over again in newspapers and TV reports. High street chains of restaurants, shops, cafes and travel agents are either closing altogether, or shutting doors and haemorrhaging jobs to try and make ends meet – Boots, Barrhead Travel, and Glasgow Airport, just to name a few in the last couple of weeks.

And all the expectations are that it will likely get worse in the coming months.

In Glasgow, faced with the impacts of the last economic crisis, Labour introduced the Glasgow Guarantee: a scheme that has helped employ thousands of young people.

But now, faced with even more difficult budgets, that scheme will come under scrutiny in the council.

I am clear: the millions of pounds that Glasgow spends every year helping people back into work has to be maintained and redesigned to tackle the challenge ahead of us.

There will be a temptation to say that because of the growing cost, and because of the UK Government’s wholly inadequate response, that we can do away with the scheme.

Any such suggestion must be resisted. As Glasgow builds its way out of this crisis, we need to use every single penny most effectively to make sure that we lift everyone up with us and build back a better Glasgow for all.