The political debate in Scotland over the past few days has centred on the economy, with papers from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Scottish Government.

Oxfam wants to see an economy that lessens inequality and ends the scandal of poverty in rich, modern Scotland. Recent research by Prof David Bell and David Eiser at Stirling University supports our view inequality needs to be at the heart of any debate about our shared economic future.

When it comes to inequality, the Stirling team found Scotland is in the middle of high-income countries: we could and should be doing much better. The incomes of the richest in Scotland are growing massively at a time when incomes for others are falling. This would have led to massive inequality if it wasn't for our tax and social security system which helped share some of that immense wealth more fairly.

Despite the turmoil of recent years, there is still wealth galore in our society. Our tax and welfare system is simply a way of moving some of that wealth from those who can well afford it, towards those who are in need. This is not Government spending: it is wealth sharing. That is why the Coalition Government's massive cuts to benefits and tax credits are so damaging: they undermine this essential fairness and will deepen inequality.

Instead of relentlessly attacking people who claim benefits and tax credits, we should be building on the limited success of our tax and social security system to use it to promote greater equality for our shared benefit.

But - important as tax and social security are - Oxfam believes if we are serious about tackling inequality and poverty, we also need to change the fundamentals of our unfair economy.

We have heard a lot about an economic turnaround in the UK over recent months but, when GDP figures go up, too many of our politicians think this is a job well done. They fail to question the quality of that growth or who benefits.

GDP might be going up but real incomes for the vast majority of Scots are falling. Employment might be going up, but for far too many Scots those jobs are part-time, low-paid, or both. This jobs crisis hits the poorest hardest but the Stirling University report shows mid-level jobs are also being hollowed out, leaving more and more people facing an uncertain future.

We can do better. Earlier this year, Oxfam Scotland published a report called Our Economy. It is full of policy ideas that promote a different kind of economy, one that allows us all to benefit from growth, that allows all of us a dignified life free from the threat of poverty and destitution, that protects our environment, and that lets all of us make a meaningful contribution to our society.

All public bodies should have a duty placed on them to lessen inequality and focus their help on those who are deprived, giving special regard to the place of women. Their performance in fulfilling that duty should be monitored by an independent poverty commissioner.

Employers in the public and private sector should pay a living wage. They should create workplaces that are inclusive, that allow the sharing of work and where massive gaps in salary are not tolerated.

Businesses that agree to work in this way, and which demonstrate a willingness to recognise their wider role in society, should be rewarded through the tax system. Businesses that carry on putting massive profits before people, or which pollute the environment, should be penalised. They should also be denied corporate welfare support like subsidies, grants or public contracts.

Shared ownership of businesses, through co-operatives and social enterprises, should be supported and encouraged, making it the structure of choice for new start-up companies.

This is an achievable vision for a better, shared future. The challenge to politicians and policymakers is to make it a reality for the benefit of us all.