Earlier this week we saw another round of scary and dizzying statistics. ONS figures show that unemployment has rocketed to 1.35 million people across the UK, and an unemployment rate at 4.1% in Scotland. But that’s just the beginning of the story. The full impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown is yet to be reflected.

While the data will take some time to catch up, we have a clearer understanding of the groups of people most affected by the economic fallout. The Resolution Foundation has published research in the past few days laying bare the sad reality: that the youngest look set to bear the cost of a crisis not of their making. The IPPR has also produced calculations showing that up to 45% of furlough income will go directly to landlords and banks, in the form of rent, mortgages or debt repayments.

I have written before that this crisis has exposed the fragility of our economy. That when we talk about a return to normality, we cannot mean a return to inequality, deprivation and precarity. It must mean forging a new economic model. And it’s not just me.

Senior figures in the SNP have made the same claims, including Nicola Sturgeon and former MP Angus Robertson, who said: “Scotland will have the opportunity to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and restore our society and economy on foundations which are stronger, fairer and kinder for all.”

There’s consensus about the scale of the challenge; that something must be done. There is a palpable sense that we might just succeed in delivering the kind of change we need. But then I watched the proceedings in the Scottish Parliament earlier this week. And it begs the question: why do the SNP resist the opportunity to rise to the challenge?

On Tuesday, the SNP had the opportunity to vote for a tenant hardship fund and for rent freezes for those directly affected by the crisis. Much-needed, hardly earth-shattering proposals that could make a huge difference right now. But they chose not to.

Soon we will turn to the questions about the future. And what confidence can we have that the SNP will stand up for Scotland and its people, if they’re willing to vote down

such simple and effective measures? What confidence

can we have that they will use

all the tools at their disposal to prevent a lost generation because of the economic impacts of this crisis?

The last time this country was faced with a similar significant and immediate threat to the prospects of an entire generation, the then Labour government introduced the hugely successful Future Jobs Fund. And here in Glasgow we introduced the Glasgow Guarantee. These initiatives were hugely transformative for the people of this city and this country.

I hope that our current governments and administrations can learn from these lessons. We must do all that we can to prevent another generation being left out to dry. That is the challenge we must rise to.